Melville Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2020 93pts
93 Points Jeb Dunnuck
A year-in, year-out no brainer for those who love impeccably made California Pinot Noir, the 2020 Pinot Noir Estate Sta. Rita Hills reveals a healthy, translucent ruby hue as well as textbook Sta. Rita Hills notes of mulberries, redcurrants, baking spices, dried flowers, and subtle hints of marine-like iodine and salinity. Beautiful on the palate as well, it's medium-bodied, has terrific balance, silky tannins, and a great finish. It's gorgeous today yet will keep for a decade in cold cellars.
Red rose petal in color, lively and vivid aromatics of raspberry, black cherry, fresh cranberry sauce, blood orange and nori waft from the glass. In the background, dried sage, basil powder and talc weave alongside a hint of cinnamon and orange rind. The mouthfeel is polished with soft, bright acidity and focused, silky, assertive tannins on the finish that add gorgeous earthy components and complexity.
This is 100% Melville fruit from our Sta. Rita Hills estate and is a collection of sixteen Pinot Noir clones. 40% of the fruit was fermented as whole-clusters with 60% gently de-stemmed in small (1.5 ton) open top fermenters. Total skin and stem contact averaged 30 days (7-day cold soak, 2+ weeks of fermentation and 1+ week extended maceration). From the press, the wine was transferred directly into neutral barrel (15+ year old French oak), where it remained sur lie without sulfur until July, when it was gently racked for the first time and prepared for bottling in August.
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