Sta. Rita Hills

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This syrah comes from a very cool site and always displays the earthy and spicy personality of the varietal. One might assume the vineyard would have a character much like one of our other cool-climate syrah sites, Bien Nacido for instance. But not so! Each vineyard has a unique exposure, soil make-up, and climatic conditions that strongly influence the flavor profile of the grapes grown there.

At Melville climate trumps all, the weather is so cool the vines struggle to ripen their fruit before November. The 2007 offers a generous aroma of pepper and spice; it’s an absolutely intoxicating fragrance. All of the Melville syrahs have had serious tannins, but we were finally able to get them under control this year by making changes in how the wine is fermented, so this one has a suppleness that makes it quite beguiling to drink today.

Blend: 100% Syrah | Alcohol: 14.5% | Vinification: 20% New French Oak | Barrel Aging: 16 Months | Total Production: 290 cases

Press Reviews

Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar

“Opaque ruby. Heady aromas of cherry-cola, black raspberry, incense and lavender. Exotic, floral-accented red and dark berry flavors show impressive clarity and sweetness, with complicating notes of candied licorice and floral pastilles. Closes on an alluringly sweet note, with excellent focus and sappy persistence. This velvety syrah is complex enough to enjoy right now.” – JR 93 Points

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

“The 2007 Syrah Melville shows off a virile, powerful personality imbued with dark fruit, black pepper, spices, licorice and earthiness. The wine blossoms beautifully in all directions, showing notable depth and length. The Melville could use another few years in bottle, but it is immensely gifted and strikingly beautiful. This is a distinctly firm, cool climate style. .” – AG 94 Points