In the wind-swept, rolling hills of western Santa Barbara County, you will find one of the best cool-climate growing regions on earth. And in this area, you will find one of the more consistent Pinot Noir producers in California!
Ron Melville and his family have been farming high quality grapes for over 30 years. After finding success in Sonoma County, Ron's desire to grow cold-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah brought Melville Vineyards to the Sta. Rita Hills. The Sta. Rita Hills AVA is unique, as it is one of the few grape growing regions in California whose valley runs west to east. In doing so, the cooling air from the Pacific Ocean is able to rush through the area, keeping the daily temperatures low, and providing a long growing season that maximizes flavors. The soils at Melville are a mix of sand and clay, giving Pinot Noir beautiful aromatics combined with ripe, but not overpowering fruit. In addition, Melville plants their vines at a denser spacing than most. In doing so, root systems must compete with each other, inhibiting rigorous growth, naturally lowering yields and furthering the development of flavor and concentration. Farming at Melville is sustainable at a minimum, but often done organically.
Melville's "Estate" Pinot Noir is a collection of 16 different Pinot Noir clones fermented in small 1.5 ton open-top fermenters. Yields were just 1.5 tons per acre! This is the type of small yields that you typically see for Pinot Noirs selling for $75-$100+...but Melville's wine sells for way less than that! Combine that with the stellar 95 point score from critic Antonio Galloni, and you'll see why this has been one of our favorite wines to sell for the past several years! This is the first vintage "from grape to glass" that Chad Melville has produced since taking over from Greg Brewer, and if this is any indication, the Melville wines are destined for continued greatness!
ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir Estate is a blend of the seventeen clones on the property. Freshly cut flowers, spice, mint, blood orange and dried flowers give the Estate beguiling aromatic complexity and nuance. There is a sense of translucent beauty in the 2016 that is fabulous, while the 40% whole clusters are very nicely integrated. This is such a tremendous wine."