Tasted February 7, 2019 by csimm1161 with 42 views

Flight 1 (5 notes)

2015 Melka Sauvignon Blanc Mekerra USA, California, Sonoma County, Knights Valley
97 points
Fresh lemon juice and zest, lemon verbena, dry grass, lime zest, subtle vanilla-coconut pina colada, and trailing tropical fruit notes make up the profile of this beautifully crafted Sauvignon Blanc. Medium+ bodied, with a captivating intensity and kick of energy that thrusts the flavors forward. Mid-palate concentration is as solid as it comes for this varietal, with a speedy finish that lifts up the back end and makes for a zippy but creamy-smooth enlongation of flavor.

Decanted air helps this wine stretch its legs even further. This Melka very much reminded me of what Sam Kaplan can do with Sauvignon Blanc under the Arkenstone label, which is similar in stature but with a little more of a dominant lime element than the Melka. The edges of the Melka are a tad smoother as well. Wonderful stuff all the way around.

Drink now with a decant, or hold for another year+ with confidence if you feel like it. 96-97 points.
2012 Melka Métisse Jumping Goat USA, California, Napa Valley
90 points
A blast of grippy and floral-laced red raspberry and cranberry notes launch on to the palate with a Fast and Furious “Kapow!” that initially leaves a numbing and slightly bitter effect. With some wrist-torqued swirling in the glass, flavors of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate and faint earth notes struggled to peek out. Certainly a vivacious, energy-driven Cabernet that operates at a higher register; this also delivers with more red tonalities overall. Threw off a bit of sediment as well, with the final sips hitting the bitter meter on the high end.

Hold this rambunctious rabble-rouser for at least 3+ years in hopes it finds its place in life. For now, it rides just as high as the infant 2016 Jumping Goat sampled after this.
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2016 Melka Métisse Jumping Goat USA, California, Napa Valley
93 points
Kicking out just as much energy as the 2012 sampled before it, but managing to counterbalance some of its speed with notable intensity and concentration, the 2016 Jumping Goat catapults notes of bright cassis, black and red cherry, rose pedals, granite, and a significant amount swirling booze. This is all about the vibrancy and zest at the moment. Riding high, acidic, and primary in its current state, but seemingly with enough stuffing to integrate the totality of its components into a more cohesive beast after a solid 3-5+ years in bottle, this 2016 is compelling, if not completely rowdy and wild currently.

93+ points, with upside after 2022/2023+.
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2014 Melka Cabernet Sauvignon Métisse Montbleau USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
95 points
Black and red cherry, purple plum skin, unripe wild blackberry, and wonderfully compelling dark bitter chocolate notes undulate along the length of the palate with intent and to layered effect. Finishes incredibly long and with captivating intensity. A true success for the 2014 vintage, where some of the heavy hitter Cabs across the Valley have rounded-out quite a bit. The Montbleau pushes all of the right buttons upon its delivery, especially in terms of its mid-palate hit, where the core fruit settles in for just enough time before it takes off again enroute to the back end.

Drinking very well now, but another year or two will likely produce even more upside as it further develops its glide and cadence and deepens the zippy plum and blackberry fruit flavors. Ideally hold until 2021+. 94-95+ points
2015 Melka Métisse Martinez Vineyard Pritchard Hill USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
96 points
Black cherry, blackberry, iron rust, Kauai red dirt, and powdered chocolate notes pop with an energetic pulse that grabs your attention and begs for another sip. Layer after layer of fruit and flavor hit the palate with a firm but sensual delivery. Its complexity arises from its energetic and deliberate execution, with each component having its turn in a cyclical reverberation of intensity and concentration. Finishes as its starts, with hedonistic verve and drive.

Though it’s a fun ride now, give this another two years to deepen its racy tone a little bit and allow the mid-palate drop to really settle in.

By comparison, the Melka is much more jocular than Fayard’s richer and serious Purlieu Martinez. Both have great speed, but the Purlieu comes off a bit deeper (plus the Purlieu is a 2014). Hold the Melka until 2021+. 95-96+ points.
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