97pts Jeb Dunnuck
More mulberry, redcurrants, and cassis fruit as well as tobacco and flowery incense notes emerge from the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard, a more medium to full-bodied, expressive wine with beautiful elegance as well as structure on the palate. Coming from a site high up on Pritchard Hill, it's already complex and approachable aromatically, yet there's considerable structure and tannic grip, suggesting at least 3-4 years of bottle age will be warranted. (95-97pts)
96pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A barrel sample, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard sports a very deep purple-black color and notes of crème de cassis, baked plums and blackberry pie plus hints of tar, garrigue, beef drippings and fragrant earth. Full-bodied, the palate is laden with generous black fruits, supported by firm, grainy tannins and lovely freshness, finishing long and earthy. (94-96pts)
The 2019 Melanson Cabernet is certainly one of the most plush/round Melasnon’s we have made since we first started from here in 2013. There is the typical tannin structure off of Pritchard Hill but this year the perception of the tannin is more supple and smooth. There is roast beef, tobacco, menthol, dried herbs, vineyard dust and currants. As approachable as this is right now I would expect a comfortable 10-15 years of graceful development.
We put Pritchard Hill in parentheses because it is not an official appellation, but many great wines claim and champion the name. It’s neighbor on this legendary hill is Colgin. Greg Melanson’s vineyard is very steep with rows running up and down the hill. Its rocky face looks down at Napa Valley’s floor. Higher elevation and afternoon breezes coming from the Pacific cool the vineyard in the warm afternoons. Ideal real estate for world class Cabernet. The mountain site is rugged, its Sobrante loam soil studded with volcanic rock. At an average elevation of 1,200 feet, the vineyard sits above the fog line and benefits from maximum sun exposure all day.