Region: Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Tasting notes: The Olivet Lane Vineyard is consistently a benchmark for Chardonnay in Russian River Valley, and this vintage delivers without fail. Its’ always welcome nose of Meyer lemon, crisp apple, and Satsuma mandarin fill the glass alongside the intoxicating aroma of freshly baked butter cookies. The palate is equally as generous, offering layers of lemon cream, coriander, brioche, and flaky puff pastry, and the supple, lengthy finish leaves nothing to be desired.
Producer: It’s hard to imagine a better vantage point from which to savor the many splendors of the Russian River Valley than Gary Farrell Winery. Perched on a hillside providing panoramic views of the forested valley below, its wines epitomize the best of the appellation and the passion and pioneering spirit of its visionary founder, Gary Farrell, a California winemaking icon. Gary Farrell Winery has long specialized in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from some of the top vineyards in the Russian River Valley, and the wines remain as elegant, complex expressions of their vineyard origins. Beginning in the late 1970s, while working with seminal Russian River Valley vintners such as Davis Bynum, Joe Rochioli, Tom Dehlinger and Robert Stemmler, Gary Farrell was instrumental in showcasing the Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays of the nascent Russian River Valley AVA. Director of Winemaking, Theresa Heredia joined on in 2012, carrying on Gary’s legacy of crafting Burgundian-styled, varietally expressive small-lot artisan wines capturing the balance and stylistic elegance of some of the finest vineyards in the Russian River Valley AVA and beyond. Theresa is a cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay specialist, with a hands-on, Burgundian perspective coming from her winemaking experience in France at Domaine de Montille.
Vineyard and Winemaking: Pellegrini’s Olivet Lane Vineyard was planted in 1975 to Wente selection on AXR rootstock. The vineyard sits on 65 acres of sloping benchland in the Santa Rosa Plain, in between the warmer Westside Road region and the cooler Green Valley, where warm summer days are moderated by cool breezes and chilly evening temperatures. The combination of low temperatures, regular fog intrusion and well-drained loam, clay soils create an excellent environment for growing Chardonnay that develop cool-climate characteristics and impeccable acid at fairly low sugars. The wines from this vineyard simultaneously express power and finesse, and they do so with tremendous balance.
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