Melville Estate Santa Rita Hills Syrah 2019 95pts
95 Points Wine & Spirits
Chad Melville’s estate-grown syrah leans on the Estrella River clone, a selection that’s late to bloom and late to ripen—it is typically harvested in November, the whole clusters submitted to a cold soak, native fermentation, and aging in neutral barrels. It’s low-intervention winemaking with a stunning result: The wildly exotic aromatics bring lavender, violets, plum, smoked tea, olive and, above all, pepper—like walking under a pepper tree on a warm afternoon as the fruit nears peak ripeness. The flavors are exotic, lush and herbal at once, delivered with a creamy midpalate and fine leafy tannins, elegant and long. It’s drinking beautifully now and would be a wonder to follow as it ages.
93 Points Wine Advocate
The 2019 Syrah Estate has a medium ruby-purple color and is bursting with blackberry jam and blueberry aromas with broody tones of cast iron, chargrill, aniseed and dried herbs. The palate is lovely, with a balance of bright berry accents of savory, earthy tones. It has an abundance of finely grained tannins, notable freshness and lift, and a long, herbal finish.
92 Points Jeb Dunnuck
The 2019 Syrah Estate Sta. Rita Hills always seems to deliver. Revealing a ruby/plum color as well as peppery notes of red and black fruits, tapenade, and gamey meats, it's medium-bodied and has a supple, elegant texture, nicely integrated acidity, and a great finish.
92 Points James Suckling
Aromas and flavors of strawberries, together with cloves, black pepper and dried flowers. Yet, it’s transparent and crisp. Medium body with a pretty texture and a fruity finish.
With its signature dark violet color, one can’t help but to get excited. Fresh herbs and lavender fill the glass then give way to grilled meat and fresh, roasted cracked pepper. On the palate, with roasted blackberries, in season black plums, and cherry juice. A balance of silky tannins, juiciness, and velvet-like texture.
The fruit for this wine comes exclusively from our Sta. Rita Hills estate and is a combination of five different Syrah clones (Estrella, Beaucastel 99, 1, 383, 470). The Estrella, 383 and 470 are planted on nutrient deficient, well-drained sand, which always lends an intoxicating and high-toned bouquet of white pepper flowers and spice, while the Clone 99 from Block I is planted on denser sandy loam soil, bringing depth and richness to the table.
Harvested mid to late November, 60% of the fruit was gently de-stemmed with 40% remaining as whole clusters and was fermented in small 1.5 ton open top fermenters. Total skin and stem contact averaged 35 days (7-day cold soak, 2+ weeks fermentation, and 2+ week extended maceration). From the press, the wine was transferred directly to neutral barrels (15+ year-old French oak) where it remained sur lie with no sulfur until June when it was gently pressure racked for the first time and prepared for bottling in July.
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