91 POINTS: VINOUS - Melville’s 2020 Pinot Noir Estate is a very pretty, effusive wine. Crushed flowers, sweet red berry fruit, mint, spice and cedar are all very nicely lifted. This gracious, mid-weight Pinot bodes quite well for the rest of the range.
91 POINTS: WINE & SPIRITS - A young wine with youthful dark fruit and tension, and a strident expression of whole-cluster spice, this is exceedingly savory in its aromatics, with scents of olive and olive leaf, smoldering tobacco and gorse. Its fruit is flavorful and dark, and shows some integration after three days open, but it needs age to merge with the savory elements.
91 POINTS: ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE - The 2020 Pinot Noir Estate has a medium ruby color and scents of dried red cherries and pomegranate with accents of tobacco leaves and prosciutto. The medium-bodied palate is firm and grainy, finishing earthy.
PRODUCER NOTES: The estate Pinot Noir is made up of 100% estate fruit from the sandy soils of the Sta. Rita Hills, coming from sixteen different clones. 40% of the fruit was fermented whole-cluster, with 60% of which was gently destemmed in small open-top fermenters. The grapes undergo total skin and stem contact for 30 days, seven of which are cold soak, two weeks of fermentation, and one week of extended maceration. The grapes are then pressed and transferred into neutral, 10-year-old French oak barrels and aged sur lie until the following June. The wine was gently racked and prepared for bottling in August. Aromatically this wine has a dynamically ripe red raspberry note, with orange zest, and touches of rhubarb. On the palate, the wine is deliciously savory with fine black tea, dried eucalyptus and lingering flavors of bing cherries. Overall the wine has softened tannins, delightfully cool climate influenced acidity and a lengthy finish.