Majestique Paderewski Vineyard Syrah Vinous 94 pts 

The 2013 Syrah Paderewski Vineyard has turned out beautifully. Lavender, mint, pine, dark spice and bluish fruit meld together in a silky, nuanced Syrah built more on texture than on varietal expression. Still, there is a lot to like here. Philippe and Cherie Melka have coaxed an unusual level of finesse from this Paso Robles site. A bit of new oak tannin and flavor remains, but this a strong effort nonetheless.
Antonio Galloni. Tasting date: October 2015

2013 Paderewski Vineyard
Mekerra Proprietary White Vinous 94 pts 

The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Mekerra Vineyard is round, voluptuous and inviting. A white of texture and pure nuance, the 2013 offers a compelling mélange of peach, apricot, white flowers, French oak and slightly tropical flavors. Oily and unctuous in style, the 2013 is a wine of real personality and class.
Antonio Galloni. Tasting date: October 2015

2013 Mekerra
Where do Napa winemakers dine out? 

For many Napa Valley visitors, the revelation is not the wine; it’s the food. With scores of restaurants featuring farm-to-table (and sea-to-table) ingredients, it’s hard to go wrong when dining out.

But where do the folks who make Napa’s wines go for special occasions, or just a burger and (gasp) a beer? Where might visitors bump into their favorite winemaker?

We asked eight vintners to cite special-occasion and casual spots — and where they hang with their vinous homies.

The most-touted hangout: Rutherford Grill’s bar for lunch and late afternoon. If you don’t encounter a famous winemaking face while dining, at least you know that the food will be stellar.

Philippe Melka
Owner/winemaker of Melka Wines, owner of Atelier Melka Wine Consulting Company

Special occasion: “Whenever we go to Press, we know we are in for a treat. Sommeliers Kelli White and Scott Brenner always impress me with their recommendations, (and) Press has one of the most comprehensive wine lists in Napa with a number of rare older vintages/special bottles.”

Must-have menu item: “the truffle mac and cheese and bacon platter.”

Casual: “Goose and Gander is one of my favorite places to hang out and have a cocktail at the end of the day.”

Must-have menu item: “You can’t beat their burger and octopus salad.”

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Le Pan - The Art of Fine Wine Living
Out of The Shadows 

With his own label and winery in the works, Philippe Melka finally takes the spotlight.

Over the past 20 years, Philippe Melka has consulted on dozens of top labels—including Dana Estates, Vineyard 29, Lail, and Brand. He has received several 100-point scores from The Wine Advocate and been named by Robert Parker as one of the top nine wine consultants in the world.

Melka has established a reputation as a soil whisperer, a brilliant blender, and a titan of terroir. He uses data and analytics to get the most out of every one of his sites. But because he has spent most of his career making wines for other people, few—if any—consumers seem to even know the guy’s name.

This is about to change...

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Napa Sonoma Magazine
The Right Wines for Summer Grilling 

Summer grilling season is in full swing, which is a perfect opportunity for us to try different food and wine pairings. Wine as a whole goes better with food than any other beverage and with so many varieties to choose from, there are numerous pairing options with grilled food. The naturally occurring sugar, acidity and alcohol in wine to complement almost anything cooked with flames...

... Cabernet Sauvignon to try: Melka CJ Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2012, California ($65). Indulgent as a velvet smoking jacket, the Melka Cab is packed with ripe plum, black cherry, cassis and mocha with baking spice and tobacco. The silky tannins are soft as a kitten purring for another bite of your steak.

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What Are you Drinking?
2012 CJ Cabernet Sauvignon