2011 Melka Mekerra
Sauvignon Blanc
Knights Valley
Returm to glory 

Sauvignon blanc becomes something special once more as a French-born winemaker draws on his memories.

2012 Mekera Sauvignon Blanc, $145
Aromatic on the nose, with strong hints of minerality, this well-structured white blends notes of peach, mango and lychee that give way to a long, brighly acidic finish.

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Sauvignon Blanc
The Un-Chardonnay: Limited Edition, Cutting Edge Gems 

SHOW SAUVIGNON BLANC THE LOVE–plant it right, crop it right, pick it right, put it in the hands of a master–and you can aspire to the kind of symphonic, tour de force white wines they bottle at Bordeaux paragons like Haut-Brion and Smith-Haut-Lafitte.... Here are six very-limited-production, cutting-edge gems that showcase what could be: the compelling heights top California Sauvignon Blancs can reach without ceding a nuance of their Sauvignon-ness. Remember the last Chardonnay you had that was this riveting, this just hold-up-the-glass-and-stare-at-the-thing fascinating? Didn’t think so.

Melka 2011 Sauvignon Blanc La Mekerra Vineyard ($145) Transplanted French wine guru Philippe Melka makes sensational Sauvignon Blanc for Lail, Dana and Vineyard 29 (above), but his own version is All-Planet: luscious, subtle, intense and almost playful as it continually evolves in the glass.

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Sauvignon Blanc
3 Sauvignon Blancs That Will Surprise You 

Mekerra Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Melka Wines
Knights Valley, Calif.

For the wine that bears his own name, Philippe Melka grows the grapes on a 10-acre vineyard situated 2,300 feet above Napa Valley. High elevations tend to smooth out tannins, an effect evident in this wine: flowery and rich with a hint of citrus floating around the flavor levels.

Melka, a Frenchman with a geology degree from the University of Bordeaux, took his first winemaking class out of sheer curiosity. He is big into soil - his vineyard's dirt is rich in clay and volcanic ash - and terroir (the act of creating wine redolent of the place where the grapes have been grown). Both interests show well in this wine. Taking in the bouquet, before the Mekerra even hits my palate, I'm thinking about warm afternoons in lush fields. It's the kind of transporting quality that is virtually impossible not to find alluring. $145

Pairing tip: Lobster and crab complement this wine.

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Private Clubs
2011 Sauvignon Blanc
2010 Melka La Mekerra Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc awarded (92-94)! 

One of the most interesting whites I tasted this year, Philippe Melka’s 2011 Sauvignon La Mekerra Vineyard is striking for the way it combines intense minerality and loads of varietal character, all with notable grace. Lime, lychee, mint, white flowers and mango are woven together in this utterly impeccable white. I can’t wait to taste the 2011 once it is in bottle, but it is showing great today. The 2011 saw a dollop of Muscadelle and was aged in 100% new oak barrels. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2016.

Philippe Melka’s roster of consulting clients reads like a Who’s Who of Napa Valley, but the wines Melka makes with his wife Cherie are just as compelling. The Metisse wines are made from vineyards in Knights Valley and St. Helena.

Wine Advocate #206 Apr 2013
2011 Sauvignon Blanc