Melville Sta. Rita Hills Estate Pinot Noir 2016
I'm the most proud of this wine, Chad Melville says. "This includes all 16 clones, around 130 different lots. It's like an orchestra, using what's left from the single-vineyard blends. To be able to pull aside those other sweet vineyard spots to bottle separately and still have this wine keep kicking ass—I'm becoming a better farmer and learning the land." Medium ruby in color, the 2016 Pinot Noir Estate has a very bright, sunny nose of tangerine peel, ripe red cherries, spiced cranberries and rhubarb with hints of tree bark, dried earth, oolong tea and crushed strawberries plus a white pepper hint. It's light to medium-bodied with a silky texture, intense, juicy earth-accented red fruits, softly grainy tannins and a long finish. 4,877 cases were produced and at this price point, this makes a good value-for-money casual bottle.
Starting with the value-priced 2016 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills, it was 60% destemmed, saw a long 30-day maceration, and was aged all in very old barrels. This medium ruby/plum-hued effort offers complex notes of macerated cherries, dried strawberries, forest floor, spice, and earth. With medium body, a light, elegant texture, ultra-fine tannins, and a great finish, it's a no-brainer purchase to enjoy over the coming 7-8 years (or more).
Dark and spicy, this has scents of oak and strawberry, the fruit growing lush with air. A briny savor brings the fruit into focus, and sumptuous oak frames the finish.