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The inspiration for Inox is born out of a pursuit to capture the essence of both the vineyard and varietal in their purest form and so, uniquely in the Melville line-up, it sees no oak whatsoever. The grapes originate from a cold and inhospitable 1.8 acre section on the west side of the Melville estate planted to Clone 76 on extremely sandy soils. The combination this colder block and clone allows the grapes to regularly reach proper acidity ripeness at lower sugars; ideal for Melville’s interpretation of stainless steel chardonnay. Upon immediate pressing, the juice is transferred into two small stainless steel tanks for a long, cold fermentation to capture and enhance the fruit’s delicate nuances. The subsequent cold storage also prohibited the onset of malolactic fermentation. The wine then remained on its lees without any oak contact or disturbance for five months before being bottled in late March. Vibrant green-gold in colour, vivid and pure aromatics of lemon verbena, ripe plantain and golden pineapple spring from the glass. On the palate, white floral notes of honeysuckle, freesia and citrus blossom linger alongside weightier impressions of fresh mint, rock salt, macadamia nut oil and stone fruits. The mouthfeel is clean and focused, with a lively streak of acidity that anchors the wine’s generous and vivacious finish. A stunning wine and a riposte to the perception that Californian Chardonnay is always big, this deserves to be tasted and will live long in the memory.