Saturday, April 23, 2011

Melville Estate Chardonnay

Melville Winery 
Santa Rita Hills

Lompoc, California, USA
$22.39 -- Bee Cave, Austin, TX

Color: Medium gold
Nose: Cedar, salt, clementine-lime
Body: Full
Front: Salt, Meyer lemon
Middle: Honey and cream, lime
Back: Oak, white pepper
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Cork

I'm increasingly a fan of Sta. Rita Hills wines. This one is delightful, though without the 20% off sale, I'm not sure if I'd go for it again. I had the same experience with one of Melville's Pinot Noirs awhile back.

This deserves a brief but perhaps important digression. There's a threshold of cost and interestingness that I want to give a name to, because I think it actually influences the drinking experience (assuming you paid for the wine--if you didn't, this isn't a factor, except for you misers out there). If the wine is expensive and tastes beautiful, you don't shy away from buying another bottle. If it's cheap and tastes really good to you, maybe you buy a case, or make it a regular. But if it's really good, yet not quite priced right, you say, I'll take my $23 to a new wine, hoping to find one that's fantastic at that price.

I always have this same feeling at Pottery Barn. That rattan side-table is fantastic! But it's $300. Target has a rattan side-table that's really good, and it's $45. Restoration hardware has one with a secret compartment, that's much sturdier, for $400. Whatever happens next, it's not going to happen at Pottery Barn. Thenceforth, wines that provoke this feeling I will call "Pottery Barn Wines." I look forward to ireful comments from either Pottery Barn execs or Soccer Moms and Dads who love their Pottery Barn for Kids wines.

That said, this wine is really good! It's tasty with the appetizers of chorizo, mustard, cornichon, and triple-creme cheese I'm having; and it brings a sea-side reminiscence with its mineraliness, which suggests it would be phenomenal with seafood.

P.S.: I got one of my rattan wine-storage chests from Pottery Barn, and it's fantastic! It was on sale, 25% off.