Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas: Melville Estate Pinot Noir

Wishing everyone a happy holiday season. Our last wine recommendation for 2007 is the 2004 Melville Estate Pinot Noir. (Buy here $28) This wine is still young and will continue to develop for the next few years.
Tasting Notes:
Color: Ruby red. Nose: dark cherry, currants and leather and a bit of Santa Rita spice
Upon Tasting: It lays across your palate like velvet..So elegant. You can't help but smile as it crosses your lips. It starts off with dark cherry, tart pomegranate followed by a lingering finish of leather and spice. The tannins in this wine lend it a nice support. Lovely to see stem inclusion executed well in Pinot Noir to add structure. This should help this wine age longer than some other styles of California Pinot Noir.

Wine Making Notes from Melville's Site

  • 100% Melville fruit from our Santa Rita Hills Estate, this bottling is a representation of all 11 pinot noir clones currently in production.
  • Yields were 2.5 lbs/plant, in our tightly spaced vineyard equating to 1,815 vines per acre, and were selectively hand-harvested over a three week period giving us 75 different fermentation lots.
  • 67% of the fruit was gently de-stemmed with 33% fermented as whole-clusters in small (1.5 ton) open-top fermenters. Total skin and stalk 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 barrel (25% new French oak: Sirugue, Marsannay and Mercurey),where it remained sur lie with no sulfur until the waning moon cycle of April, when it was gently pressure-racked for the first time and prepared for bottling in July. 14.9% alcohol
Read about the influences of the above choices on Pinot Noir here

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