2014 Melville "Inox-Clone 76" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay

SKU #1161220 93 points Vinous

 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)  (6/2015)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 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.  (12/2015)

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)  (8/2015)

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Price: $34.99

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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

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.


- 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 Santa Ynez 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