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Melville Verna's Estate Santa Barbara Viognier 2013

Vinous 91pts

Bright yellow. High-pitched aromas of tangerine, peach and white flowers, with a stony accent gaining strength with air. Bright and racy on the palate, with juicy acidity lifting and intensifying the flavors of white peach and fresh citrus fruits. Finishes with an appealingly light touch, lingering minerality and strong persistence. Quiet elegant for the variety, especially for a New World rendition. According to Chad Melville, his family recently sold their Verna's vineyard, north of Los Alamos and in the Santa Barbara County appellation, because they want to focus completely on their estate vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills. Melville explained that "it just makes more sense to be self-contained, and while Verna's is a great vineyard, it seems removed from our other sites," all of which surround the Melville winery on Highway 246 in the sweet spot between Buellton and Lompoc. The pricing for entry-level wines here has always been a gift by design, Chad's father Ron said, because the Melvilles "want as many people as possible to be able to try the wines." Maybe they'll be inspired to check out the higher-end, single-vineyard wines, he reasons, "but [we] don't want to make people start off at that level

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