Melville Estate Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills 2012

melville chardA good wine is kinetic, moving about the mouth in undulating waves of  complementary flavors. This Chardonnay from the western side of Santa Rita Hills has that cool weather dynamism that defines the newer breed of California Chardonnay.

Slender and lean but brisk and full of vigor, the Melville has a wonderful evolution on the palate.  Nutmeg and hazelnut succeed fleeting apple flavors until they too give way to swelling tides of minerality, ending in a powerful, persistent finish as satisfying as you will find on a white wine. The nose shows floral notes, sea breeze, and lemon prevailing over the standard roast pear and red apple which appear as background notes.

There is no malolactic fermentation to round off the flavors and the use of neutral oak keeps the vanilla and butter in check. A little steely and uncompromising. Poised, self-possessed and focused without being overly friendly, yet reeking of quality like Lady Mary of Downton Abbey.

I love this wine.

Score: 93/100

Ave. Price: $23

Alc: 14.5

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