I’ve been tasting at Melville for more than a decade and it has grown to be one of my absolute favorite stops in Santa Barbara wine country. Formerly led by superstar winemaker, Greg Brewer, of Brewer-Clifton, the winery has had Chad Melville at its helm for several years after being under Brewer’s guidance. Chad has been crafting some absolutely stunning wines and has created his unique winemaking style. I absolutely love the saline-driven terroir that he is able to mold into his wines. He not only makes the wines but also helps farm his 82 acre property at Melville.
Melville’s vineyards were first planted in 1996 by his father Ron Melville and his brothers which was quite unique at the time. The vineyard was planted to 14 different clones of Pinot Noir and 4 different clones of Chardonnay, as well as Syrah and Viognier. The new releases by Chad Melville were simply gorgeous across the board, none more so than the 2015 Melville ‘Estate’ Chardonnay (WWB, 93) which landed firmly on my Washington Wine Blog 2018 Top 100. This is an absolutely stunning new Chardonnay that is one to purchase by the case. Nearly as good is their gorgeous 2015 Melville ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 92) which is a killer value out of Santa Barbara County. The best wine I tried was the 2015 Melville ‘Block M’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 94) which has everything you want in a great Santa Barbara Pinot with great richness, poise and salinity. This is a stunning wine that is meant for the cellar. Learn more about this outstanding producer of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah at http://melvillewinery.com Here are the gorgeous new wines by Melville.
2015 Melville ‘Estate’ Chardonnay- The ‘Estate’ Chardonnay is a stunning new wine by Melville. The nose takes on smoky and flinty undertones with ripe tree and citrus fruits that impress. The palate has a silky mouthfeel and a rather unctuous texture. Showing good weight, salinity and viscosity the wine reveals Pink Lady apple, kumquat and nectarine flavors that all combine marvelously. A stunning new bottling, enjoy this over the next decade as tertiary notes will develop. I can imagine that this will be even better at the ten mark. Drink 2018-2028- 93
2015 Melville ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir-This rich and layered Pinot Noir begins with aromas of wet stone, mulberry and candied red cherry. The palate is plush, showing a really good salinity and richness. Black cherry, guava puree and blood orange with earthy undertones impress on the palate. Lithe and rich, this is a seriously good Pinot Noir by the talented Chad Melville. Drink 2018-2026- 92
2016 Melville ‘Sandy’s’ Pinot Noir- The ‘Sandy’s’ Pinot Noir by Melville is a limited production bottling that connects with estate Pinot Noir set in sand. The sandy terroir on the nose is really stunning as the earthy tones connect with bright red fruits and lifted citrus on the nose. The weight, tension and salinity of the wine is tremendous. Black tea, cram-guava and bright strawberry flavors all collide and create a wonderful amalgamation. This is a simply stunning wine that will cellar well for a decade or more. Drink 2018-2028- 93
2016 Melville ‘Block M’ Pinot Noir- The ‘Block M’ by Melville is a seriously good, limited production Pinot Noir made by the talented Chad Melville. On the nose this takes on a distinct dark fruit tone with cigar box and sagebrush connecting. The palate is plush and dense showing really nice terroir, cola and dark fruits. The balance and salinity is really good here. Delicious now, this great wine will continue to evolve over a decade or more. Drink 2018-2028- 94