Tuesday 27 January 2015

Melville - Architecture, Orchestration & Elaboration

I was invited by Divine to a tasting with Greg Brewer, Melville´s wine maker since 17 years. The theme of the tasting was to see how Soil, Selection and Stems effected the result of Pinot Noir.
We were presented with four flights. The three first highlighted the difference between Soil, Selection and Stems. All other parameters - yeast, barrels, alcohol etc - was the same, the only things setting them apart is noted on each wine below. A very interesting tasting indeed!
The three first flights were barrel samples from the 2014 vintage.
The last flight was a presentation of evolvement over time of finished wines.

Greg made the presentation with flair, humour and enthusiasm, using a lot of, and fascinating, parables - fish, school reunions, body sizes, pupils, books and more...:-)

Flight I - Soil
Glass I - Sand, Sandy´s Block, Clone 114, 33% stems
A light, fresh, herbal Pinot nose with cool red fruit and some peppery aromas. This site is close to the ocean and there is a whiff of salty rocks.
The taste is finely tuned, sandy (!) and pure with a nice warmth and peppery raspberries. Very promising.
~90p   (tasted 2015/01)

Glass II - Sandy Loam, Anna´s Block, Clone 114, 33% stems
The version from the sandy loam has more blue fruits streaks on the nose and the taste is tighter with a higher acidity and a more restrained character.
~88p   (tasted 2015/01)

Glass III - Clay Loam, M Block, Clone 114, 33% stems
The M Block Pinot from its clay soil is more voluptuous and sweeter with raspberry licorice and forest floor. The taste is broader and denser than the previous ones with a lovely sweet fruit.
~91p   (tasted 2015/01)

Flight II - Selection
Glass IV - Sandy´s Block Clone 90, no stems
Reminds me of glass I, with the same perkiness to the fruit, although this is a tad darker. The taste is young and light with sweet lingonberries and red apples. A touch metallic in the finish.
~87p   (tasted 2015/01)

Glass V - Sandy´s Block Clone 459, no stems
A young, more restrained nose than the two others with notes of lingonberries and asphalt. The taste is young and seedy with a high acidity. Good but lacks charm.
~86p   (tasted 2015/01)

Glass VI - Sandy´s Block Clone 37, no stems
There is 16 different clones in Melville´s vineyards, and even though we "only" got to taste three, the #37 must be one of the best. The nose is deep and creamy with a lovely peppery raspberry fruit and the taste is silky yet intense with spices, liquorice and wild strawberries. This should be bottled separately - for me at least! :-)
~93p   (tasted 2015/01)

Flight III - Stem Inclusion
Glass VII - Block M, Clone 115, 0 stems
The one without stems shows a deep, sweet, spicy Pinot nose with liquorice, raspberries and spices. The taste is tight and intense with lot of character and sweet raspberry fruit. Very, very good.
~91p   (tasted 2015/01)

Glass VIII - Block M, Clone 115, 33% stems
The 33% stem inclusion shows that stems really contributes to the wine. This version has a denser, deeper nose and a taste with a tighter palate feel and more concentration. This is really, really good.
~93p   (tasted 2015/01)

Glass IX - Block M, Clone 115, 100% stems
But, as much as some stems can make a wine better, too much makes it worse. With 100% stems the nose becomes withdrawn and gravelly and the taste is very structured. Long, yes, but the fruit is muffled. Perhaps this version needs time to settle.
~87p   (tasted 2015/01)

Flight IV - Evolution

2012 Estate Pinot Noir
The nose is young and perky with notes of cool raspberries, forest floor, herbs and leather. A cool sense on the nose. Very, very good.
The taste is young, refreshing and kind of refined with notes of chocolate covered strawberries, gravel, herbs and liquorice. A medium long, finely tuned finish. Very fine.
92p   (tasted 2015/01)

2008 Estate Pinot Noir
Both the 08´s (see the Chardonnay below) didn´t perform. If it was an awkward moment in time for them, I don´t know. But the Pinot shows a (over)ripe nose with notes of very sweet, mashed strawberries, moist earth and raisiny aromas.
The taste is big, warm and meaty with strawberry jam, earth and tobacco. There is some warmth in the medium long finish. Not my cup of tea.
83p   (tasted 2015/01)

2004 Estate Pinot Noir
The stunning 04 made up for the 08. The nose is beautiful with some maturity and notes of wild strawberries, herbs, forest floor and root vegetables. Some perfumed scents after a while. Really good.
The taste is round, ripe and has a cool raspberry sweetness with notes of tobacco, forest floor, fresh herbs and leather. A fine complexity. This is good!
94p   (tasted 2015/01)

2013 Estate Chardonnay
A young, sprightly nose with notes of vanilla ice cream, white peaches, lemon peel and some grassy aromas. Needs time but this will be good.
The taste is young and fresh with notes of white currants, lemon cream and salty rocks. The finish is long and finely tuned. Very promising.
91p   (tasted2015/01)

2008 Estate Chardonnay
As with the Pinot above, the 08 Chardonnay didn´t perform well. The nose is big and buttery with notes of fish liver oil, apricots and old grass.
The taste is warm and creamy with notes of lemon cream, almond paste and mussels. Better on the palate than on the nose.
87p   (2015/01)

2004 Estate Chardonnay
The best wine on the table! This beauty has a deep, complex nose with notes of cold butter, cap gun smoke, hazel nuts and ripe peaches. Reminds me of an great, outgoing Puligny-Montrachet. Really fine.
The taste is tight and pure with notes of sweet limes, spices, lemon cream, white flowers and milk chocolate fudge. A long, persistent finish with a fine acidity. A great wine that will go on for years!
95p   (tasted 2015/01)

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