Melville 2018 Inox Clone 76 Chardonnay Santa Barbara, California
The inspiration for Inox is born out of a pursuit to capture the essence of both the vineyard and varietal in their purest form. This specific wine originates from the first twenty-nine rows of Block A, a cold and inhospitable 1.8 acre section on the west side of our estate planted to Clone 76 on extremely sandy soils. We love the marriage of this colder block and clone, as the grapes regularly reach proper acidity ripeness at lower sugars; an attribute we find ideal for our interpretation of stainless steel chardonnay. Upon immediate pressing, the juice is transferred into two small stainless steel tanks for a long, cold fermentation at an average temperature of 45°F to capture and enhance the fruit’s delicate nuances. The subsequent cold storage also prohibited the onset of malolactic fermentation. The wine then remained on its lees without any oak contact or disturbance for five months before being bottled in late March.