92 Wine Advocate, 92 Antonio Galloni, 93 Wine Enthusiast - This is 100% Melville fruit from our Sta. Rita Hills estate, and is a collection of 16 pinot noir clones. 40% of the fruit was fermented as whole-clusters with 60% gently de-stemmed in small (1.5 ton) open-top fermenters. Total skin and stem contact averaged 30 days (7 day cold soak, 2 + weeks of fermentation and 1 + week extended maceration). From the press, the wine was transferred directly into neutral barrel (10+ year old French oak), where it remained sur lie without sulfur until June, when it was gently racked for the first time and prepared for bottling in August. Yields were 3.6 lbs/vine (3.3 tons/acre). Ruby red in color, fresh fruit aromatics of mandarin orange, black raspberry and grilled watermelon spring from the glass. On the palate, pretty nuances of rose petal, gardenia and oolong tea mingle with herbal notes of sandalwood, star anise, fresh thyme and fennel seed. The mouthfeel is plush and velvety yet finishes with significant persistence and volume.
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