Auction 14 | Lot No. 52
Cliff Lede Vineyards
Let It Be Layla
Stags Leap District
5 cases produced
Winemaker, Cliff Lede Vineyards
Melka has the rare combination of talent and fortune to be a top winemaker who started at the top: his first job out of school was at Château Haut Brion. From there, he took a position with the reputable Moueix Company and was sent to Dominus Estate in Yountville to study soils in 1991. Napa Valley soil proved to be a revelation for Melka. After further deepening his expertise with a stint at Dominus sister property Château Petrus in 1993, Melka set out traveling, dividing time between soil study and winemaking at world-renowned wineries: Badio O Coltibuono in Chianti and Chittering Estate in Australia.
Country born: France
Education: Studied geology at the University of Bordeaux. A class in winemaking was a turning point, propelling him to earn a Master’s degree from the school in agronomy and enology
Years in the wine industry: 20-30 years
Honors / Awards:
Melka is recognized as one of the wine industry’s leading winemakers: Robert Parker named him one of the world’s nine most important winemakers, while Food & Wine declared him “winemaker of the year” in 2005
Melka has served as a winemaking consultant for some of Napa’s most highly regarded properties, including Vineyard 29, Hundred Acre, Dana Estates, Gemstone Vineyard and Lail Vineyards. Melka joined Cliff Lede Vineyards in March 2010 and will be working on the 2009 blends. His first full vintage will be 2010.
Q&A With the Winemaker
Q: Premiere Napa Valley wines are innovative and allow each winery to showcase the region's sense of exploration in fine winemaking. What kind of exploration did your Premiere Napa Valley wine allow you to do?
A: The vineyards blocks on our Estate property are named after classic rock n' roll songs. Every year we release a wine we refer to as our "Rock Block" wine. It is composed of two blocks blended together, combining the names of those two blocks, to name the wine. Our PNV lot is a spin-off of the Rock Block. We designate two separate blocks for this 5 case label and name the wine accordingly.
Q: What was your inspiration for this offering?
A: Let it Be Layla is the blend of "Let It Be" and "Layla", two separate blocks on our Poetry hillside.
Q: Fill in the blanks: I chose to make this wine from this particular ______________ because ______________.
A: I chose to make this wine from this particular block because The vineyard blocks sit on a high-exposure, west-facing steep hillside, reaching the highest elevation of the Stags Leap Appellation down to the valley floor. The vineyard produces all the elegance and concentration for which the Stags Leap District is famous.
Q: Why should a wine lover have a bottle of this wine in their cellar?
A: The 2008 Let it be Layla is a very unique blend of two vineyard blocks that have never been blended together. We change the blend each year, so this bottling is one of a kind. It is a quintessential representative of Napa's most renowned appellation.
Dean & Deluca
639 Main Street
Saint Helena CA 94574
Premiere Napa Valley Wine Collection