2014 Melville "Inox-Clone 76" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
The 2014 Chardonnay Clone 76 Inox is beautifully focused and nuanced in the glass, with plenty of lemon peel, slate, crushed rock and green pear notes. As always, the Clone 76 Inox has a slightly reductive note, but here it only adds to the wine's personality. This is a striking Chardonnay from Melville and winemaker Greg Brewer. Winemaker Greg Brewer turned out a gorgeous set of 2013 Pinots at Melville. The wines are consistently of very high quality, something that was not easy to achieve in a year with huge yields. As always, Brewer works with small-lot fermentations, a healthy amount of whole clusters for the Pinots (less for the Syrahs), low levels of new oak and minimal racking, which allows for the personality of each site to come through. Also tasted: 2013 Viognier Verna's. (AG)
Both a study of clone and stainless-steel processing, this wine offers fresh-cut pineapple, ripe Gala apple, honeydew and even peach, with a citrus-skin sharpness to the nose. The flavors are delicate and familiar but complex and deep, with Anjou pears, lemon-lime soda and apple flesh. It's a lively stainless expression.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Brought up all in stainless steel, the 2014 Chardonnay Clone 76 Inox is the estate's top Chardonnay that's a vineyard selection that sees no new oak or wood of any kind. It sports a racy bouquet of mint, citrus rind, green tea and hints of lemon to go with a medium-bodied, balance and nicely texture feel on the palate. The nose cuts like a razor blade, but the palate is more rounded than you'd think. (JD)