I can’t believe this is already the 3rd vintage of the Melee. When we stumbled upon the two iron rich classic Rhone vineyards that make up Melee, we just wanted to see “can it be done? Can we really make a true southern Rhone style Grenache?” 3 years in, and 3 sold out vintages later, it seems we’re not the only ones who like the outcome.
While some winemakers found the 2011 vintage challenging, for a late ripening Rhone grape like Grenache, coming from colder iron rich vineyards like Eagle Point Ranch and Alamo Ranch, this was a perfect year. The warm and gentle spring made for great conditions in the vineyard: ideal leaf cover to protect from hotter days, and cooler nights allowing the fruit to slowly mature.
Each vineyard was hand harvested at the beginning of November and began a slow and long fermentation and aging that is finally given way to the bottle! The wine is rich and multilayered, with boysenberry and crushed strawberry on the nose. The palate is more boysenberry and fresh plum, followed by classic Provance herb notes and a soft plush tension that ties the whole package together. A crisp finish of anise and currant closes out the package.
This wine was aged sur-lie in French oak for 18 months. Bottled unfined, it’s tasting delicious now, but will continue to mature for the next 8 to 10 years.
The Melee marches forward, we hope you enjoy!