Melville Donna's Syrah 2018  Front Label
Melville Donna's Syrah 2018  Front LabelMelville Donna's Syrah 2018  Front Bottle Shot

Melville Donna's Syrah 2018

  • JD96
  • WE96
  • W&S95
  • RP93
750ML / 14.1% ABV
Other Vintages
  • JD96
  • RP95
  • V94
  • WE97
  • JD95
  • RP94
  • W&S93
  • W&S95
  • RP99
  • RP91
  • WE90
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3.7 16 Ratings
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3.7 16 Ratings
750ML / 14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep indigo in color, intense and rich aromatics of Chinese five spice, dark cocoa bean and smoked sea salt come through initially. In the background, dense notes of blueberry compote, beef yakitori and porcini mushroom mingle with softer floral hints of violets and lavender. The wine displays tremendous concentration and balance on the palate with fine, dusty tannins that frame a powerful and lengthy finish.

Critical Acclaim

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JD 96
Jeb Dunnuck
Not destemmed and seeing an extended maceration, the 2018 Syrah Estate Donna's is another Cornas look-alike that boasts a saturated purple color to go with a huge nose of smoked black fruits, beef blood, ground pepper, crushed violets, and bacon fat. It's rich, full-bodied, concentrated, and beautifully balanced, with both tannins and acidity. This beauty will keep for 10-15 years and is up with some of the top examples of Syrah in this report. Rating: 96+
WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
Cracked black pepper, black currant and dark violet make for a cool-climate expression with tons of floral smoothness. There is heft to the sip, where black pepper, dried herbs and black fruits are sliced by a zesty acidity.
W&S 95
Wine & Spirits
Set on a modest rise of almost pure sand, Donna’s Block tends to produce the purest expression of syrah among Melville’s four blocks. In 2018, it grew a wine that borders on the hedonistic in its youthful exuberance, with wild aromatics of smoke and olive, clove, mocha, dried beef, lavender and thyme, and a core of blueberry and blackberry flavors that feels deep and dark. And yet the acid-tannin structure shores up the wine with remarkable grace and precision, so that it still manages to be one of the raciest syrahs in the Central Coast.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Medium to deep ruby-purple, the 2018 Syrah Donna's offers pure violet perfume and notes of cracked pepper, charcuterie, mint and blackcurrant fruit. The palate is full-bodied with a fresh, ripe structure and expansive, layered fruits, finishing long.

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Melville, California
Melville The Story of Melville Winery Video

There is no place on earth quite like the Sta. Rita Hills. The highly unusual east-west (or transverse) mountain range, close proximity to the cold Pacific, consistent coastal fog, and steady afternoon breezes together create ideal conditions for growing cold-climate Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. Ron Melville and his sons recognized that these exceptional conditions, combined with their commitment to “winegrowing,” would result in wines of remarkable quality. Melville Vineyards was established in 1996 in the heart of the Sta. Rita Hills and has since become one of the most highly-regarded estates in California.

With the guidance of Head Winegrower, Chad Melville, Melville’s full-time vineyard crew nurtures their 120 estate acres organically, paying close attention to the health of both the vines and the soil. Farming aggressively, yet carefully, and with the utmost respect to Mother Nature, helps encourage the vines to produce small amounts of intensely flavored/concentrated fruit. At the time of harvest, they consider the wines to already be made, and strive to not interfere with their natural path in the cellar. To this effect, they maintain a minimalist approach by aging their wines only in neutral French oak and stainless steel and utilize whole cluster fermentation to contribute to the depth, structure, and complexity of their wines.

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Sta. Rita Hills Wine

Santa Barbara, California

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A superior source of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills is the coolest, westernmost sub-region of the larger Santa Ynez Valley appellation within Santa Barbara County. This relatively new AVA is unquestionably one to keep an eye on.

The climate of Sta. Rita Hills is a natural match for Chardonnay and Pinot noir, thanks to the crisp ocean breezes and well-drained, limestone-rich calcareous soil. Here, grapes ripen just enough, while retaining brisk acidity and harmonious balance.

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Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Rhône Blends of the south, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”

CHMMLV4101118_2018 Item# 673887

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