It wouldn’t take long for Ron Melville to learn that even the best vineyard blueprints require annual revisions and updates. While many (particularly given the magnitude of the initial investment) would have sat on their laurels after the strong Wine Advocate reviews, the Melvilles doubled down — fine-tuning the farming protocol block by block, stressing the vines by dialing back irrigation, often pushing the harvest date back until the last week of October.
Note: If you're a Burgundy or California Pinot Noir enthusiast, do not miss this one. No BS. The 2012 Melville Pinot Noir Estate is one of the finest American Pinot Noirs of the last couple of years -- at ANY price. One thing: Please limit purchase to no more than one case per member. We're trying to spread this one out as far as 1200 bottles will go.
In 1996, soon after Ron Melville purchased this sprawling estate in Sta Rita Hills, he followed a meticulously designed vineyard blueprint. More like Burgundy's Cote de Nuits than California, the property was "carved up" into 22 blocks, each planted with specific rootstock, tailored to soil type and exposition. Spacing was a tight 8' x 3', making for a whopping 1815 plants per acre.
Over the last decade, Melville's brilliant winemaker, Greg Brewer, has treated us to a series of sensational Pinot Noirs -- dollar for dollar, always some of the finest in America. But with the release of the phenomenal 2012, from what Chad Melville calls "the vintage of sunlight," the fourteenth vintage of Melville Estate Pinot Noir is in a class by itself.
Brilliant deep ruby to the edge. Explosive aromas of crushed red fruit preserves, orange zest and sweet spices. Rich, finely delineated and ultra-juicy on the attack, packed with a luscious mix of black raspberry, black cherry and pomegranate, the extreme opulence of the vintage is beautifully braced by 45% stem inclusion, finishing with great persistence and penetration. Drink now-2022.
94 points from Antonio Galloni. Matching 92s from Parker and Tanzer. $36/bottle this morning. Shipping included on 4. 1200 bottles. Again, STRICT limit of one case per member!
94 points – Vinous/Antonio Galloni