2013 Melville "Estate" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
The 2013 Chardonnay Estate is gorgeous. Rich and oily on the palate, with considerable texture, the 2013 boasts tons of texture and breadth. Candied lemon, white flowers, almonds and chamomile add shades of nuance as the 2013 opens up in the glass. The 2013 boasts tons of oiliness and viscosity for a Chardonnay with no malolactic fermentation. Best of all, the 2013 is a great value. 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. (AG)
*Cellar Selection* A brilliant balance of ripe ruby-red grapefruit juice and corresponding bitter-sour elements from the same fruit's pith mesh with tangerine oil, crushed ant, iodine and a bit of dairy funk on the nose of this wine. The palate's grippy texture shows apple peels, Key lime pith, baking soda and an almost peppery zing, suggesting lots of life. Drink 2016–2023.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Chardonnay Estate Sta. Rita Hills is a smoking effort that represent a fabulous value in Chardonnay. Made in a pure, clean style, it was barrel-fermented and aged 8 months in neutral oak. It gives up serious notes of lemon, lime peel, tinges of wild herbs and salty minerality to go with a medium-bodied, balanced and elegant profile on the palate that keeps you coming back to the glass. (JD)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright yellow. Very fresh aromas of white peach, tangerine, gingery spices, jasmine and iodine. At once rich and lively, with bright acidity and firm minerality giving focus to the sappy citrus and orchard fruit flavors. The sharply focused finish echoes the floral and mineral notes and hangs on with excellent tenacity. This wine reminded me a lot of a high-quality Puligny. (JR)