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2001 Melville Vineyards and Winery Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills
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5.0 average rating 5 ratingsrate it
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87 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - November/December 2002

($20; 15.4% alcohol; Santa Rita Hills is a new AVA in the cooler, western portion of Santa Ynez Valley) Aromas of guava, butterscotch and smoky oak. Full, rich and sweet, with the full-blown butterscotch and mirabelle flavors held together by bracing acids and a stony, minerally underpinning. This wine, only 20% of which went through malolactic fermentation, features a screaming 10 grams per liter acidity. Certainly a distinctive wine, with impressive texture and elevated alcohol. But I'd still like to have seen more primary fruit flavor.

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Member Notes

whoa. exceeded my expectations.
06/30/2003
by White6462
I did a double take when I looked at the price I paid for this wine. Well done melville.
Wonderful Buy
03/20/2003
by Peter10450058
Greg Brewer, wine maker, is making a wonderful French style chardonnay. This is not the over oaked style of chardonnay atypical of many California chardonnays. You have the opportunity to appreciate the nuances of the grape here.
Great Value
03/18/2003
by REK
Great flavor intensity, body and acidity. Emailed the winemaker at Melville about the wine and he replied with information that contradicts Tanzer regarding use of malo: "That wine has a pH of 3.04 and a TA of 1.0g. The wine did not go through malo which is neither inhibited or encouraged."

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About California

It is remarkable that an industry essentially less than a half-century old could capture the attention of the American wine-buying public to the degree that California has. Powerful consumer interest in California wine is driven by two major factors. The more obvious reason is that California's best wines, which come from grapes grown in...

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Chardonnay

The best Chardonnays in the world continue to arrive from the region where the grape first emerged: the chalk, clay, and limestone vineyards of Burgundy and Chablis. While the origins of the grape were disputed for many years, with some speculating that the grape came all the way from the Middle East, DNA researchers at the University of California-Davis proved in 1999 that Chardonnay actually developed...
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