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Melville, Donna's Syrah, Sta. Rita Hills, California, 2020

Regular price $59.95 Sale price $75.00
Save $15.05

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Overview of the Wine
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.

Grape / Blend

Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, California

Winemaker's Tasting Notes
Donna’s is an extraordinary achievement, walking a fine line between power and grace. An intoxicating bouquet of red and purple florals, and savory herbs permeate the glass with that iconic freshly cracked white peppercorn punch. The wine glides across the palate with stewed black plums, blackberries, Spanish olives, and peppered bacon. Sandy-like tannins and racy acidity bring all the flavors together in symphony.

Pair Donna’s with braised lamb shank or short ribs.

96 Points - Wine Enthusiast
This wildly complex cool-climate Syrah begins with aromas of bay and eucalyptus leaf, torn-up asphalt, rainbow peppercorns and herby elderberry on the nose. The palate is explosive with bold flavors of bay, elderberry and even cannabis, sliced through with sharp acidity.

95 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2020 Syrah Donna's Block comes from vines planted in pure sand and was vinified using 100% whole clusters. Medium ruby-purple, it has loads of personality! Wild blackberry aromas are streaked with nuances of iron, peppercorn and dried herbs. The medium-bodied palate offers intense, herbal fruits supported by chalky tannins and refreshing acidity, and it boasts a long, layered finish replete with floral perfume. I love this combination of earthy wildness and pretty floral fruit. Best After 2022.

95 Points - Jeb Dunnuck 
Another wine that shows the fresher style of the estate, the 2020 Syrah Donna's is a tiny production release (there are 800 cases produced) that's not destemmed and comes from a single parcel in their estate vineyard on the northern side of the Sta. Rita Hills. Its semi-opaque ruby/purple color is followed by a medium to full-bodied Syrah with classic notes of red, black, and blue fruits, peppery herbs, game, violets, and salted meats. Beautiful on the palate as well, this seamless, incredibly graceful, and flawlessly balanced effort reminds me of a great Côte Rôtie with its aromatics as well as its elegance and silkiness on the palate.

94 Points - James Suckling
Lots of orange blossom, orange peel, leather, white spice and dark fruit. Full and dense yet agile and bright. Reserved, with a lovely finish. Delicious to drink but will improve with age.

Product size: 750ml

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