Washington Wine Blog: Melka Estates

By Owen Bargreen

Philippe and Cherie Melka form a formidable force in crafting their stunning Melka Estates bottlings.

A sensational boutique winery out of Napa, Melka Estates relies on the talents of Philippe and Cherie Melka. Melka Estates is a limited production winery that sources from some exciting new vineyards including La Mekerra in Sonoma and Jumping Goat in Napa Valley. The wines show incredible richness and terroir as they are sourced from warm vintages and stay true to their respective sites and growing conditions. A remarkable winemaking and consulting talent, Philippe Melka is a Bordeaux native that has a master’s degree in enology. He has a long resume, with previous stops at Château Haut Brion, as well as Dominus Estate and various stops in Australia and even Chateau Petrus. He has been in Napa on a full time basis since 1994 and has served as consulting winemaker at some of the great wineries in Napa, Sonoma and Washington State. He is truly one of the great consulting winemakers in the world. Philippe partners with his wife, Cherie, to craft the wines. She also has a highly impressive resume with previous stops at Bealieu Vineyards and Silver Oak prior to starting Melka Wines. She handles all business decisions for Melka as well as helps with the blending.

The Melkas have crafted some new releases that were simply marvelous, coming from the warm, 2015 vintage in Napa and Sonoma. One of the great Merlots in California from the Knight’s Valley, the 2015 Melka Estates ‘Mekerra La Mekerra Vineyard’ Merlot (WWB, 96) has insanely good dark fruits and a silky smooth texture. This memorable wine will cellar well for the next two decades. I was absolutely blown away with the 2016 Melka Estates ‘Metisse’ Red Wine (WWB, ) which has a massive core and is only starting to hit its stride.

This winery is really gaining a lot of momentum ands learn more about this stunning project at https://www.melkaestates.comHere are my reviews of the new Melka Estates wines.

2016 Melka Estates ‘Metisse Martinez Vineyard’ Red Wine- The is the second vintage that they have sourced from the ‘Martinez Vineyard’ which is located on Pritchard Hill at 1200 feet in elevation above St. Helena. The ‘Metisse’ is a seductive blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon with 23% Petit Verdot and 17% Cabernet Franc. The deep and highly perfumed aromatics impress with creme de cassis, creosote, coffee grounds and shades of dusty terroir that all take their shape in the glass. The palate has a plush texture, showing plenty of exotic appeal. Light tannins frame the deep and dark fruit flavors that collide with shades of bittersweet chocolate, pipe tobacco and tar. While remarkable at the three year mark, this stunning new release will cellar well for the next two decades. Drink 2020-2040- 96

2015 Melka Estates ‘Mekerra La Mekerra Vineyard’ Merlot- The ‘Mekerra’ Merlot was sourced from the Knight’s Valley and spent 22 months in French oak (60% new) prior to bottling. The wine starts off with aromas of chocolate, spice box, mocha and tar on the nose. The mouthfeel and texture to the wine is phenomenal. Mocha,anise, crème de cassis and blueberry compote flavors all come together marvelously in the glass. The texture and viscosity is sumptuous. Drink 2019-2035- 96