2017 Martellotto "Melodeon" Chardonnay Sierra Madre Vnyd Santa Barbara County

The fruit in this Martellotto Chardonnay is from the Sierra Madre Vineyard in the western part of Santa Maria Valley in Santa Barbara County. This is a very cool vineyard site that is windswept. Many outstanding producers source from this vineyard. Baked apples and pears in the nose follow through on the palate. The wine suggests a liberal use of French oak and the 2017 is 40% new French oak with the balance in older barrels. The wine was barrel fermented and has a lovely natural acidity and a light zip in the mouth from the sandy loam vineyard that was covered by the Pacific Ocean millennia ago. A broad mouthfeel and yummy minerality combine with layers of vanilla, toasted hazelnuts, and nutmeg singing into the finish. Consider this with any food that is prepared with butter. The wine was bottled in August 2018 after 12 months in oak with limited sulfur additions. 

Only 350 cases made.

This is a chard lover's chard.

About the Winery

The old world informs Greg Martellotto's motivation to make wines that speak of a unique vineyard in California. Greg loves wines that have a vibrant acidity combined with bright fruit and that intangible, hard to pinpoint X factor. Mass produced wines that are squeaky clean and uniform are less interesting. Starting with healthful and sustainably farmed grapes, Greg combines creative fermentation techniques with an artistic blending prior to bottling to produce wines that are distinctive and delicious. Greg’s intention is to make remarkable wines of consequence, consistency, value, and varietal expression. Several of the wines are sourced from organic vineyards and produced with native yeast fermentations. Martellotto wines are allocated, bottle numbered, vineyard designate wines and a pleasure to share. 

About the Wine Name

The fanciful name "Melodeon" has two meanings. Melodeon is the name given to the type of foot-pumped organs used in the 19th century. If you can imagine an old west saloon with gunslingers and whisky, there is likely melodeon organ music in the background. Later, the melodeon is referred to a more common accordion that is played while draped over the musician's thigh. You may not know in 1990 San Francisco declared the piano accordion the official instrument of the city. The first such instrument in American was (allegedly) produced there in 1908. As such, the music of the time, playing in the saloons of the Barbary Coast was referred to as "melodeon". The other tie in here, is that the winemaker dances tango. Tango music is famous for the unique sound of the bandoneon, also a type of accordion. There is something smooth, genuine, and lyrical about tango and melodeon music in this wine.


Golden-apple, lemon-extract and toasted marshmallow aromas immediately reveal that this is a California Chardonnay, but one held in balance. The palate is clean and crisp with lemon and Asian pear flesh flavors, woven by a firm grip and strong acidity. ~91 pts, WE

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