2010 Melville "Estate-Verna's" Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

SKU #1074754 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 * Editors' Choice * Ripeness marks this Pinot. It floods the mouth with jammy raspberries and cherries, brightened with acidity. Seems a bit straightforward by virtue of sheer dazzle, but it is a superb example of the Santa Rita Hills, at a good price.  (5/ 2012)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2010 Pinot Noir Estate Verna-s floats on the palate with sweet dried cherries, herbs, mint and fennel, all of which come together in a refined, medium-bodied style that is highly appealing. In 2010, the Verna is all about finesse. A sweet, perfumed finish rounds things out nicely. This is a very pretty showing. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016. Longtime winemaker Greg Brewer has done a great job with these new releases. Although there are a number of highlights here, it is the Pinots that truly shine in 2010.  (8/ 2012)

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Price: $21.99

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By: Mari Keilman |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 4/27/2012  | Send Email
Previously known for a flashier, high alcohol pinot, the 2010 Melville "Estate-Verna's" Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir epitomizes how a wine can excel with lower alcohol levels and increased acidity. Since the 2007 vintage, the alcohol levels have plummeted dramatically from 15.3% to 14.8% and to its current level at 14.1%. Decisions made by the winemaker in the vineyards, accompanied by the help of Mother Nature, has helped achieve a beautiful balance in their 2010 Estate Verna’s Pinot Noir. Intensely aromatic, the Verna’s is loaded with an abundance of red fruit, plum, asian spice and leather finishing with a savory herb and sweet earth finish.

By: Bryan Brick |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 4/5/2012  | Send Email
Melville consistently churns out some of the most reliable and affordable wines from the Central Coast. Their two non-contiguous estate vineyards not only are the key to the wineries success but also to many others as well that purchase the fruit from these vineyards. Big name wineries like Brewer-Clifton, Ojai, Jaffurs and Bonaccorsi have for years used this superb fruit source. Coming from the Verna’s Vineyard, which is a 100 acre estate planted to Syrah, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, this wine is a complete bargain for $21.99. The nose is wildly expressive straight from the bottle giving off sexy aromas of dried cherry, root beer, cinnamon gum and pomegranate seeds. Light weight and supremely drinkable this wine charms with its bright tangy nature and flavors of cranberry, apple skin, chalk and papaya. Finishing long and dry this builds complexity by introducing pleasant earthy flavors like tar and fresh sage while the red-fruited core resonates in the background. After trying this we I think that you will offer a sincere thank you to the Melville family and their crew for continuing to make delicious wine for a pennies on the dollar.

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Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Sants Inez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, chardonnay and pinot noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 14