After a long and winding ride, we arrived at Seavey at around noon time on Monday. Tammy and I were soon greeted by Mary Seavey and the two large winery dogs...who we unexpectedly awoke from a peaceful sleep. We were soon introduced to Bill Seavey and wine maker Philippe Melka. We were given a tour of the main building and wine making areas. The Seavey's as well as Mr. Melka were very gracious hosts. Mr. Melka took time off from racking to taste the '95 and '96 Cabernets with us. In Napa Valley, this sort of thing simply does not happen without "vip" credentials and an advanced appointment. Not egocentric, this may have had something to do with the fact that Mr. Melka and the Seavey's are unassuming and down to earth people.
Philippe Melka has an impressive résumé.
Schooled in France, Melka's primary degree is in Geology before he pursued
a secondary degree in Oenology. Melka has worked at some prestigious estates
such as Petrus, Haut Brion and Dominus before landing the head wine making
position at Seavey. He has also done stints in Chianti as well as Australia.
Today, Philippe Melka is not only making great wines at Seavey Winery, but he also consults for other wineries such as Viader. On a smaller scale, Melka has now released his own 250 case production wine that he has named "Metisse".
We were offered the '95 and '96 Seavey Cabernets. While Tammy and I both liked the '95 Cabernet, it was slightly corked (go figure). The '96 on the other hand was open and singing, showing a stunning aromatic appeal and a wonderfully rich and complex palate impression. I simply can not say enough about the nose on the '96 Cabernet. In addition to the fragrant, dark core fruits and heavy toast, the wine showed a stunning cocoa and sweet chocolate aromatic component. One sip made me an instant fan of the '96 Seavey Cabernet! Specifically, the wine shows plenty of richness and intensity. Add to that a good dollop of background tannins. I am betting the wine will soon close down and lapse into a dormant stage where it should age effortlessly for another fifteen years or more.