The 2018 Melon (Melon de Bourgogne), better known as Muscadet, was our first attempt at this obscure variety and much of what I had read was that it produced a nuanced, and at times, slightly neutral wine. Since we wanted to take our Melon to another level, I decided to try to coax some unique and alluring qualities from this interesting varietal by using some skin contact time. We picked the fruit early in the morning while it was chilly in Alexander Valley. The acidity was still elevated, and the brix was at 22, which is the measure of sugar concentration in the fruit. Once the fruit arrived at the winery it was immediately loaded into the press whole cluster. We rolled the press several times after the fruit was received to break the grapes and then allowed the juice to sit with the skins for a period of 3 hours. This extra skin contact time with the juice creates more robust flavors and aroma notes. The grapes were then pressed, and the juice was pumped to a tank to be cold settled. Cold settling is a process to chill the newly pressed juice to 40-50F for typically around 2-3 days. The cold temperature helps the sediment in the juice settle to the bottom of the tank. The juice was then racked off the lees to another tank to begin fermentation. After fermentation was induced, the wine was transferred to 6-year-old neutral barrels. Once fermentation was complete, SO2 was added immediately when the wine tested sugar dry to prevent any possibility of a spontaneous malolactic fermentation. The wine was then aged on light lees for the next 5 months and pumped out of barrels to tank just prior to bottling.
Aromatics: Ripe honeydew, cucumber, blood orange rind, and star jasmine.
Body/Texture: Crisp minerality and bright acidity, medium body with a tangy silk finish.
Flavor: Lemon curd, kumquat, apricot, and ripe mango with floral hints of verbena.