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MELVILLE PINOT NOIR "BLOCK M", STA. RITA HILLS 2016
The 2016 Pinot Noir Estate Block M is another impressive wine. Dense, powerful and also closed in itself, the Block M has the most overt density of any of the Melville 2016s. Readers will have to give the 2016 at least a few years to unwind. The 80% whole clusters are totally buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit. An underlying hard pan of clay constricts the vines, which along with the windswept hillside and tiny clusters yields a potent, naturally concentrated wine. Drink 2021 - 2028 Antonio Galloni Sep 2018
The recently bottled 2016 Pinot Noir Block M is the most powerful and tight-knit of these Pinot Noir cuvées, unwinding in the glass with aromas of cherry preserve, hard candy, herbs and wood smoke. On the palate, it's full-bodied, concentrated and textural, with a deep core of fruit and a firm chassis of fine-grained tannins. This will need a few years in the cellar before hitting its stride.
NVWE Notes: M block is notoriously slow to evolve, masculine in its youth, and entirely worth the wait (the 2003 version - then called the Carrie’s block - is now in its prime). The wondrously complex 2016 has the expected iron-stiff backbone, yet is amazingly appealing to drink already. The nose offers a dense, sophisticated perfume of black raspberry compote, dark boysenberry tart, plum galette, Italian Maraschino cherry, dried cranberry, baked strawberry, teaberry, beet root, mulling-spice, root beer bark, star anise, cardamom, sumac berry, baking-spice, sandalwood, dried rose sachet, Pu'er tea and graphite scents. All these elements are mirrored with absolute clarity on the palate, yet tannin, dark minerality and piquant, concentrated fruit bring an almost leather-like muscularity to the texture. The finish is ultra-long and packed with red and black fruit, exotic spice and layered minerality, and a harmony that makes for great enjoyment already. Try it now with a caramelized roast, or give it another ten years. It will be a treasured classic when mature. 598 cases made.