Press Democrat's Wine of the Week
Russian River Valley
September 4, 2015
14 months in French Oak; 30% new
December 9, 2016
Forty years after planting, the 2015 Olivet Lane Estate Vineyard Chardonnay continues to live up to its history of textural and structural grandeur. Harmonized perfumes of Fuji apple and charred pineapple are accompanied by accents of toffee and cinnamon. Tones of Meyer lemon curd, allspice, pear and papaya fill the mouth, with a finish full of butterscotch and light hints of cedar. The bright acid and creamy rich texture balance beautifully. Ideally, drink this wine within the next 3 to 5 years, but don't be afraid to break it out earlier for the right occasion.
The Olivet Lane Vineyard, named for the mature olive trees lining the entrance, has been faithfully tended by Robert Pellegrini for over 40 years. Originally an apple and plum orchard, the 70-acre property on West Olivet Road in Santa Rosa was purchased by the Pellegrini family in 1973. This prime Russian River Valley property was converted to vineyard in 1975 with the planting of Pinot noir and Chardonnay. Approximately two-thirds of the vineyard’s 58 planted acres are dedicated to the Wente selection of Chardonnay. The Olivet Lane Vineyard is situated in the heart of the Russian River Valley’s low-lying Laguna de Santa Rosa Plain region, distinguished by the maritime fog influence sweeping up from the Pacific through the Petaluma Gap to the South. The cool climate extends the growing season, creating the opportunity for the grapes to ripen slowly and reach their full flavor potential while retaining their natural acidity, producing wines that are elegant and age-worthy.
The winemaking process for Olivet Lane Chardonnay involves meticulous attention to detail and gentle treatment to capture the fruit’s distinctive characters and develop exquisite volume and silkiness in the mouthfeel. The Olivet Lane Chardonnay grapes are hand-harvested at dawn under the cloak of morning coastal fog. Bins of cold Chardonnay clusters are transferred by tractor a few yards to the winery, hand-sorted then pressed whole to achieve optimal delicacy. Primary and full malolactic fermentation take place in barrel, with frequent lees stirring until the final months of motionless settling for clarity. The wine is aged in barrels sur lies for 14 months and receives a singular racking just prior to bottling.
Food Pairing Notes
Fresh Dungeness crab, triple cream brie, herb-roasted chicken, pasta primavera