2 minute read

Melka Estates: Producing World Class Wines

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By Mike L. McColgan, Resident since 1990

Recently, my wife Linda and I had the pleasure to do a private tasting at Melka Estates. Philippe Melka is a known winemaker making wines for many Napa wineries for 20 years.

He also makes the top of the line Phase Five for our friend Mike Davis, who owns Davis Estates.

Born in Bordeaux, one of our favorite wine regions in the world, Philippe and his wife, Cherie, founded Melka Estates in 1996. They produce 4 distinct labels reflecting their philosophy of soil driven wines. He made his debut in 1996 with 240 cases of Metisse.

Melka Metisse La Mekerra Vineyard is a Bordeaux blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. La Mekerra takes its name from a river in Algeria. The fruit comes from an 8-acre vineyard in Knights Valley. Only 175 cases are produced each year.

Melka Metisse Jumping Goat Vineyard is a Cabernet dominated wine that made its debut in 2003. A 3.5-acre St. Helena vineyard with its gravel soil planted to a blend of 2 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, .65 acres of Merlot and .3 acres of Petite Verdot. Not much Melka Metisse Jumping Goat is produced. On average 440 cases are produced each year.

Melka CJ made its debut in 1996. Produced from grapes planted in Soda Canyon, Coombsville and in the north of Calistoga takes its name from Melka’s children Chole and Jeremy. Production today is 1525 cases.

Our knowledgeable host today was Sylvie Laly.

We began our tasting with a 100% Sauvignon Blanc from Knights Valley. This was aged for 22 months in French Oak Cigar barrels. Per Philippe, 

It is like no other due to the elevation of the vineyard and its soil profile.

We also tasted the 2016 CJ Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015 Mekerra 100% Merlot from Knights Valley and 2016 Metisse from Jumping Goat Vineyard.

We especially liked the CJ Cabernet that was a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, and 7 % Petite Verdot that was intense, opulent and vibrant. We took a bottle back to Danville with us.

The 100% Merlot was also outstanding. Philippe describes it as “a Merlot made for Cab lovers meant for aging with many layers of complexity and richness.” One of these also went back home with us.

We would highly recommend this great winery on your next visit to Napa.

To make an appointment to experience these ‘world class’ wines, go to: https:// www.melkaestates.com/

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