Melville's chardonnay is planted predominantly on the west side of the estate, on poor soils and without any shelter from the brunt of brutal ocean-winds. These conditions cause the chardonnay to capture the vibrancy, minerality, and concentrated flavors that are hallmarks of the Santa Rita Hills appellation. Fruit was harvested by hand then gently whole-cluster pressed, cold settled overnight and transferred by gravity to barrel for fermentation in neutral French oak barrels, with zero malolactic and sur lie aging without any lees disturbance.
The 2014 Estate Chardonnay springs from the glass with fruit driven aromatics of grilled pineapple, lemon zest, white peach and orange blossom. On the palate, notes of honey, fresh ginger and tarragon mingle with weightier impressions of sourdough bread, salted caramel and agave nectar. The wine boasts a rich and polished mouthfeel with a generous streak of acidity that anchors a chiseled and precise finish.