Vineyard: The Terraces block sits on a sloped and terraced hillside, with each individual row receiving a direct hit from the cold Pacific Ocean wind. Wrapping around Block M in a “peninsula” shape, the Terraces face varying directions – north, northwest, and due west – cascading down a steep terrain made of clay-rich loam with chunky calcareous shale soil. These facets create several different sun exposures, limited water holding capacity, and when combined with the freezing cold wind, lead to a naturally “devigorized” environment producing intense fruit. Planted in 1997 by Brent Melville, this small lot of only 4.9 acres is an interesting combination of two old-school California selections of Mt. Eden and Joseph Swan, plus three Dijon clones (115, 667 & 777). 60% whole cluster.
Melville 2020 Pinot Noir “Terraces” Santa Rita Hills
A beautiful blue garnet in color, with aromas of spiced cranberry, orange zest and pomegranate dancing from the glass. Grippy tannins and defined acidity come together on the palate evoking flavors of plum compote, clove and herbal tea. Pure, bright and clean, Terraces finishes with the grace and elegance you have come to expect.
Jeb Dunnuck 95+ Points: “Coming from more clay soils as well as a west-facing hillside that gets pounded by the wind, the 2020 Pinot Noir Terraces boasts a deep, concentrated, age-worthy style as well as notes of darker fruits, roasted herbs, graphite, and black tea. This Burgundian, medium-bodied, balanced, structured beauty is well worth seeking out and, I suspect, will be one of the longest-lived in the vintage.
Vinous Anthony Galloni 95 points: "The 2020 Pinot Noir Terraces is terrific. Dense and vibrant, the Terraces captures the intensity of the year and yet retains notable energy, probably a combination of water-retentive, clay-rich soils and a mix of five clones (Swan, Mt. Eden, 115, 667 and 777) that lends layers and complexity. Red cherry, pomegranate, blood orange and exotic floral notes build into the persistent finish. Drink 2024-2032."
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