• Producer: Melka Estates
  • Winemaker: Philippe Melka
  • Region (AVA): Sonoma County (Knight's Valley)
  • Blend: Cabernet Franc, Merlot
  • Vintage production: c.300-400 cases
  • Winery location: Saint Helena (Glass Mountain District)
  • Owners: Philippe & Cherie Melka
  • First vintage: 2007
  • Drinking window: Now-2036


About The Wine


N.B. The Magnum Vertical Case contains 1x150cl of each vintage (2011-2016)


Philippe purchased the land for this vineyard in 2001 after searching for a location that would allow him to produce profound terroir based wines. Located in Knights Valley, ten acres are planted, two-thirds to red varietals and one third to white. Planting was done in stages by varietal to create the three wines in succession.


The elevation of this vineyard is 2300-2500 feet and its steep slopes and bowl shape create intriguing microclimates with mostly southern and western exposures. The soils are rich in volcanic ash – ideal for Cabernet franc and Chardonnay; clay for Merlot and Sauvignon blanc. La Mekerra displays a sense of wild animal, full of energy. The wines have floral dark fruit mixed with minerals and big tannic structure for the red and great natural acidity for the whites.


MELKA Mekerra Proprietary Red Magnum Vertical (2011-2016)


    (59% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Franc)

    "The only wine from Sonoma and the first year where the blend includes more Merlot than Cabernet Franc (and Merlot was incredibly successful in 2016), the 2016 Mekerra Proprietary Red is a rocking wine that offers tons of blackcurrants, chocolate, forest floor, and flowery camphor-like notes. Full-bodied, beautifully layered, with building tannins and a great elegance and seamlessness on the palate, it never puts a foot wrong and has a finish that goes on for nearly a minute. A blend of 59% Merlot and 41% Cabernet Franc brought up in 60% new French oak, the only downside is that there are only 425 cases made. If you’re lucky enough to snag some bottles, it should drink beautifully for 15-20 years."

    98 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Jan. 2019)



    (53% Cabernet Franc, 47% Merlot)

    "Mocha, red cherry, sage, tobacco and gravel notes infuse the 2015 Proprietary Red Mekerra. In this vintage, Mekerra offers a striking interplay between the savory, mineral notes that are so typical of this Knights Valley site along with the textural richness that is a signature of the year."

    95 points, Antonio Galloni (Vinous, Mar. 2018)



    (51% Cabernet Franc, 49% Merlot)

    "Chocolate, leafy herbs, graphite, and mineral notes all emerge from the 2014 La Mekerra Vineyard, a gorgeously textured, concentrated, opulent wine. Based on Cabernet Franc and Merlot, aged 21 months in 60% new oak, it has building tannin, a layered, stacked mid-palate, and a great finish. It's a killer wine from this talented winemaker and should keep for 20-25 years."

    97 points, Jeb Dunnuck (June 2018)



    (53% Cabernet Franc, 47% Merlot)

    "The 2013 Mekerra, a Cabernet Franc/Merlot blend, is powerful, dense and concentrated, with a real sense of power and overtness. Black cherry, plum, mocha and graphite are some of the notes that flesh out as the wine shows off its ample, plush personality. This inviting red should offer tremendous pleasure over the next decade or so."

    94 points, Antonio Galloni (Vinous, Oct. 2015)



    (51% Cabernet Franc, 49% Merlot)

    "The other two wines from Knights Valley that I tasted include a virtually perfect 2012 Proprietary Red La Mekera made from 52% Cabernet Franc and 49% Merlot. This is Philippe Melka’s Northern California version of Cheval Blanc and he has pulled it off brilliantly. A real look-alike for that great estate in St.-Emilion, this wine has beautiful mulberry, black cherry and blackcurrant fruit mixed with licorice, forest floor and incense. Terrific in texture, opulent, full-bodied mouthfeel, stunning purity, yet a freshness and liveliness that is just remarkable. Sadly, there are only 349 cases of this wine that spent 20 months in French oak, of which 60% was new. This should continue to drink well for at least another decade or more."

    98 points, Robert Parker (The Wine Advocate, Oct. 2014)



    (51% Cabernet Franc, 49% Merlot)​​​​​​​

    "A strong wine for the year, 2011 Metisse La Mekerra Vineyard is dark, sumptuous and rich. The 2011 is a bit more floral, higher-toned and more nervous than the 2010, but it has excellent balance and plenty of potential. The firm tannins will require a few years to soften, so readers will have to be patient. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2025."

    91-93 points, Antonio Galloni (The Wine Advocate, Apr. 2013)