Melville Estate Verna's Pinot Noir 2005
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.
Pinot Noir is the second-most planted grape in Santa Barbara County, just behind Chardonnay. It thrives in cooler areas of the region, namely in the of the Sta. Rita Hills, which is part of Santa Barbara’s larger Santa Ynez Valley sub-appellation. Thought for decades to be too cool for viticulture, Sta. Rita Hills began to gain notoriety in the 1970’s, thanks to the pioneering work of Richard Sandford and Michael Benedict, among others.
Santa Barbara Pinot Noir dances across the palate with vivid red fruit and spice. Precision, bright acidity, elegance and fruit-driven silkiness make Santa Barbara Pinot delightfully enjoyable, whether on their own or with a variety of dishes.