2015 Melville "Inox-Clone 76" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay

SKU #1261546 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Tasted blind alongside the 2005 and 2010 vintages, this bottling, which is Chad Melville’s first for his family winery after years focused on the vineyard, carries the same persistent sizzle of acidity on the front of the sip. But it’s fresher on the nose, with pear juice, lychee and vanilla dust, and more approachable on the tropical palate, where jasmine, exotic banana, papaya, plumeria and a touch of guava shine.  (12/2016)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The top chardonnay of the estate and one that’s aged all in stainless steel, the 2015 Chardonnay Estate Inox (aged six months in tank) offers a fabulous perfume of pears, spiced apple, citrus blossom and a touch of mint to go with a surprisingly textured and layered style on the palate. I normally prefer the straight chardonnay to this release, but in 2015, this cuvee has a terrific sense of balance and freshness paired with true texture and richness. It should keep nicely for a decade or more. (JD)  (8/2016)

K&L Notes

Inox is a stainless steel fermented wine that one could certainly interpret as a Chablis-like style on the California spectrum. Winemaker Greg Brewer sees that the style is fresh and firm with a savory and mineral-driven profile which has potential for development. The 2015 release has not yet been professionally reviewed, but the 2014 garnered 93 points from both Antonio Galloni and Wine Enthusiast.

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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