Critical Acclaim

Olivet Lane Chardonnay

"Wine of the Year"
Best Chardonnay of 2012.
Wine Guy Tom Simoneau, January 2013
Olivet Lane Chardonnay

Critical Acclaim

  • 2015

    • 93 points

      "Charming, offering a rich, delicate core of citrus-infused white peach, nectarine, green apple and pear notes, with textural nuance. The flavors are spot-on, notable for their refinement."

      James Laube, Wine Spectator Insider, May 18, 2018

    • 91+ points

      "The 2015 Chardonnay Olivet Lane has a touch of struck match on the nose with a core of white peaches, fresh pears and marzipan plus a touch of honey toast. The palate is medium-bodied, refreshing and elegantly styled with a good core of stone fruit and savory flavors and a long, creamy finish."

      Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, April 2018

    • 96 points

      "Merry Edwards’ wines can be difficult to find, and there’s a reason for that.  Made in small quantities (727 cases of this chardonnay were produced) they are quickly swept up by connoisseurs as soon as they hit the market.  And there’s a reason for that.  They are some of the most meticulously made and delicious wines made in America.  The Olivet Lane chardonnay has that rare characteristic that eludes most chardonnay producers, combining richness with structure and acidity that lift the fruit and keep the wine fresh on the palate rather than heavy and ponderous.  The 2015 is another beauty from Merry, showing a rich, oily texture and impressive depth, with complex aromas of lemon crème, pear and golden delicious apple and subtle notes of oak spice."

      Robert Whitley, Wine Review Online, Aug. 14, 2018

    • 95 points

      "Merry Edwards’ reputation -- well-deserved, I might add -- for Pinot Noir might overshadow the fact that she makes gorgeous Chardonnay. It’s hard to overshadow this gorgeous wine. It is full-flavored without a trace of heaviness. Indeed, it’s suaveness hides its concentration and depth. Like all great wines, it doesn’t hit you over head, but rather, sneaks up on you. So, I guess you could say that she also has a well-deserved reputation for Chardonnay."

      Michael Apstein, Wine Review Online, July 24, 2018

    More Acclaim
    • 90 points

      "This light straw colored Chardonnay from Merry Edwards opens with a bright green apple and mild oak bouquet with a hint of Anjou pear. On the palate, this wine is medium bodied, balanced and savory. The flavor profile is a butterscotch and pear blend with hints of pineapple and touch of grapefruit. The finish is dry and its flavors linger for a while. The Panel suggested pairing this wine with chicken cordon bleu or baked stuffed Cherrystone clams."

      Ken's Wine Guide, June 21, 2018

    • 92 points / "Very highly recommended"

      "Medium-light golden yellow color; attractive baked apple, white peach, and mandarin orange aroma with tropical notes; medium-full body; rich, fleshy, layered, citrussy, apple and stone fruit flavors with good depth and bright acidity, and a slight creaminess in the mouthfeel; lingering aftertaste. Shows some elegance and is very appealing to drink now, though also nicely balanced and structured for several more years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended."

      Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine, July 2018

  • 2014

    • 93 points

      "Turns Chardonnay into a pleasantly exotic experience, offering a wide range of flavors, with rich fig, melon, buttery oak and spice notes. Gains depth and complexity on the full-blown finish."

      James Laube, Wine Spectator, June 2017

    • 92 points / First Place

      "Medium-light golden yellow; attractive, fragrant, nectarine, green apple, and white peach aroma that developed with airing in the glass; medium to medium-full body; crisp, citrussy, apple and stone fruit flavors with some richness in the mouthfeel and supported with bright acidity; lingering aftertaste. While very enjoyable to drink now it should become even more appealing with another year or two of bottle aging. Very highly recommended."

      Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine, December 2017

    More Acclaim
    • 90 points

      "Dark gold in color, this is from a fantastic, famous vineyard site in the heart of the appellation. Confectionery aromas give it a welcoming richness and lush character that's hard to resist. Green olive, vanilla and pineapple shine brightly alongside caramel crème brûlée and toasted oak."

      Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, April 2018

    • 95 points

      "This dark yellow colored Chardonnay from Merry Edwards is Excellent. It opens with an inviting pineapple and lemon bouquet. On the palate, this wine is full bodied, slightly acidic, mouthwatering and round. The flavor profile is a delicious ripe Bartlett pear and pineapple blend with nicely integrated oak. I also detected a hint of lemon and vanilla custard. The finish is dry and its flavors linger nicely."

      Ken's Wine Guide, Dec. 11, 2017

    • 94 points

      "Although Merry Edwards is known best for her sensational Pinot Noir, she also produces exceptional Chardonnay.  That should come as no surprise given her history.  In the mid 1980s one of her ventures, Merry Vintners, was dedicated solely to Chardonnay production, according to her website. Similar to her Pinot Noir, she is not trying to recreate Burgundy with her Chardonnay.  The opulence of her 2014 is testimony to the warmth of the Russian River Valley.  Though rich, this Chardonnay is paradoxically restrained and vibrant. Not overdone, the lemony elements are refreshing and prevent the wine from tiring throughout the meal.  It’s the yin and yang -- rich, yet racy -- that is captivating and memorable."

      Michael Apstein, Wine Review Online, Dec. 19, 2017

    • 93 points

      "Sporting a full measure of deep and very well-formed fruit with neatly fit accents of cream and a deft bit of lees lending complexity and added range, this carefully made, many-layered Chardonnay manages to be ripe, rich and lively at one and the same time. It is a full and very confident effort, but for all of its richness it never so much as hints at being top-heavy or too much of a good thing, and it earns very high marks for its continuity, keen focus and altogether impeccable balance. It will reward a few years of keeping to be sure, but it is absolutely delicious right now."

      Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines, January 2018

    • "This is a striking chardonnay with great depth. Notes of melon, fig and spice. Supple texture. Rich, yet balanced. Nice length. Extremely well crafted. Impressive."

      Peg Melnik, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Jan. 17, 2018

    • 92 points

      "Yes, Merry Edwards can make Chardonnay too; bright, aromatic and elegant with smooth texture and refined acid structure; creamy and lush, stylish, balanced and long."

      Anthony Dias-Blue, Blue Lifestyle, December 2017

    • "Superb Chardonnay: a luscious, full bodied, beautifully balanced wine with layers of complexity, tasting of apple, roasted nut, pineapple, candied lemon, vanilla, peach, honey, and spicy oak. It is long and harmonious on the finish, with outstanding flavor persistence. One of the top Chardonnays of the 2014 vintage."

      Ronn Weigand, Restaurant Wine, July 2018

  • 2013

    • 93 points

       

      "From a vineyard site long tapped by both this producer and others, this beautifully crafted white is rich in a swirl of apple pie, fig and anise aromas and offers a voluptuous texture and mouthfeel. That concentration is complemented by crisp acidity, allowing for both balance and complexity."

      Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, April 2017

    • 96 points

       

      "It turns out the Queen of Pinot Noir has an equally deft touch with Chardonnay. Merry's 2013 vintage from her favorite vineyard (my presumption) is at once exotic and the epitome of nuanced complexity. Take a sip now and you might pick up floral and spice notes. A second later perhaps tropical fruit and citrus, even lemon creme, with a slightly oily presence on the palate and remarkable length in the mouth. A truly extraordinary California Chardonnay that is packed with flavor and exquisitely balanced."

      Robert Whitley, Wine Review Online, Jan. 17, 2017

    • 95 points

       

      "I don't believe I've had the pleasure of tasting a Chardonnay from Pinot Noir royalty winemaker Merry Edwards, and this fits beautifully in her portfolio of great wines.  Lemon crème is dominant here, with subtle oak spice, delicate herb tones and bright white flowers.  The palate delivers as always, with fine acidic structure and weight, and it finishes long with sweet oak character coming forward.  Brava!"

      Rich Cook, Wine Review Online, Jan 24, 2017

    • 92 points (First Place) / Very highly recommended

       

      "Medium-light golden yellow color; attractive, fragrant, spicy, pear, apple, and stone fruit aroma with tropical notes and hints of honeysuckle and hazelnut; medium to medium-full body; deep, lemony, white peach and spiced pear flavors with bright acidity and a slight viscosity in the mouthfeel; lingering aftertaste."

      California Grapevine, December 2016

    • 90 points

       

      "Neither a big and boisterous Chardonnay nor one that runs away from ripeness, this carefully composed offering finds a comfortable place in between. It teams nicely stated, slightly juicy, fresh apple fruit with measured complements of crème brûlée and creamy oak, and, if moderately full-bodied, it is lithe and light on its feet with a sneaky sense of potency and very fine staying power. It makes for a tasty glass now, but it is balanced to keep and will effortlessly hold up for another halfdozen years."

      Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines, December 2016

    •  

      "Very fine quality, this is a Chardonnay that is both intense and complex in character. It is very supple, full bodied, and crisp, with excellent balance, and a very long finish, tasting of white peach, candied lemon, pear, lime, vanilla, fig, honey, and spicy oak. Exceptional."

      Ronn Wiegand, Restaurant Wine, February 2017

  • 2012

    • 92 points

       

      "Offers enticing aromas of orange and lemon blossom, with flavors to match. This is intense and vibrant, with zingy acidity and notes of white peach, nectarine and green apple, ending pure and zesty."

      James Laube, Wine Spectator, May 2015

    • 90 points

       

      Wine Enthusiast, May 2016

    • 95 points

       

      "Creamy and rich with lovely ripe fruit, vanilla oak and tangy acidity; deep and juicy with great balance, style and finesse; lush and lovely. "

      Anthony Dias Blue, Tasting Panel magazine: "Blue Reviews," December 2015

    •  

      "Outstanding Chardonnay. It is very supple in texture, full bodied, crisp, and extremely long on the palate, with elegant, complex aromas/flavors (pear, vanilla, candied lemon, honey, kiwi fruit, creme brulee), and a very persistent finish. Remarkable quality."

      Ronn Weigand, Restaurant Wine, August 2015

    •  

      "A gorgeous chardonnay with depth. Complex, with notes of apple, honey and toasty oak. A hint of hazelnut in the mix. Knockout."

      Peg Melnik, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Dec. 9, 2015

    • 92 points

       

      "Medium-light golden yellow; attractive, rich, complex, apple, mandarin orange, and white peach aroma with hints of hazelnut and lemon curd ... nicely balanced, citrus and apple flavors with bright acidity and some creaminess in the mouthfeel; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended."

      Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine, December 2015

    • 91 points

       

      "This bright yellow colored Chardonnay from Merry Edwards is very good. It opens with an oak, apple and ale bouquet. On the palate, this wine is full bodied and balanced. The flavor profile is a unique caramel apple and lemon blend with notes of oak and hints of fig and honey. The finish is dry and its flavors linger and last for little while. This rich Chard would pair well with Chicken Normandy with Calvados."

      KensWineGuide.com, Jan. 7, 2016

  • 2011

    • Robb Report: Front Runners

       

      "Sonoma’s first lady in red also makes a startlingly beautiful white from the (Olivet Lane) property. The Merry Edwards 2011 Chardonnay Olivet Lane serves the grateful palate a magnificent medley of crisp apple, lemon curd, honeycomb, and apricot laced with invitingly warm brown spice." See full article here: http://robbreport.com/paid-issue/frontrunners-cellar-notes-may-2014

      Brett Anderson, Robb Report, May 1, 2014

    • 95 points

       

      " 'Wow' is the first impression after tasting this wine. Judging from this Chardonnay, Merry Edwards is as talented with that grape as she is with her exceptional Pinot Noir. ... It’s got power, grace and harmony. It’s hard to miss its grandeur, yet it doesn’t scream at you. It slowly unfolds in the glass and stays on your palate seemingly forever. Wow, indeed."

      Michael Apstein, Wine Review Online, July 22, 2014

    • 96 points

       

      "Here is a deep, masterfully crafted wine that stands with the very best Chardonnays of its vintage, and, from first sniff to finish, it shows enormous fruity depth and an altogether remarkable sense of control. It is rich and yet still a bit tight, and it offers tantalizing glimpses of complexity sure to come with a rare knack for being concentrated and wonderfully vital at once. It is a serious young wine of real pedigree, and it is one that will handsomely reward being hidden in the cellar for no less than another two to five years."

      Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, May 2014

    • 92 points

       

      "Bone dry and brisk in acidity, this elegant Chardonnay teases with hints of lemons, limes, green apples and apricots, then withdraws into a moody, tart minerality. Let it breathe and develop on the table, and don’t drink it too cold."

      Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast, June 2014

    •  

      "This wine is a rock star, the highest rated wine in the flight. Gorgeous fruit -- apple and apricot -- with caramel also in the mix. The chardonnay is rich, but it also manages to have great acidity and remarkable balance. Bravo."

      Peg Melnik, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, March 19, 2014

    • 90 points

       

      "Juicy, vibrant peach, tangerine and honeydew melon notes are at the core of this rich, creamy-textured beauty. Mouthwatering finish."

      James Laube, Wine Spectator, June 2014

    • 91 points

       

      Pale straw-yellow. Aromas of apple, apricot, truffle and brown spices. Spicy and lightly saline, showing good density to its flavors of apple and caramel oak. The nicely glyceral middle offers a hint of sweetness. Suggests the density that comes from slow ripening in this cooler year. Finishes with lingering spice character and good grip.

      Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, May 2014

    • 93 points

       

      "Beautifully structured, this is a Chardonnay with backbone, or mouth-watering acidity, that comes through despite impressive richness on the palate. It shows aromas of lemon creme, brioche and pear, with accents of baking spice. Considering the challenges of the 2011 vintage, a positively brilliant achievement."

      Robert Whitley, Wine Review Online, March 2014

    • 94 points / Excellent

       

      "This light yellow colored Chardonnay from the Russian River is Excellent! It opens with an attractive oak, crème brulee and pear bouquet. On the palate, this wine is full bodied, nicely balanced, and rich. The flavor profile is a delicious caramel and pear blend with nicely integrated oak. I also detected a hint of orange and toffee. The finish is dry and its flavors stay around for a little while. ... Open a bottle and share with friends that you really like a lot."

      KensWineGuide.com, May 2014

    • 95 points

       

      "As American as the wine’s apple pie notes and so balanced, where the richness and sweetness of the grape is rendered just right. Luscious, delicious, pure and golden—the Doris Day of Sonoma Chardonnay. You’ll want to get up and dance and sing, and have a romantic  affair with Rock Hudson in technicolor."

      Corkscrewer Report, September, 2015

  • 2010

    • "Wine of the Year"

       

      Best Chardonnay of 2012.

      Wine Guy Tom Simoneau, January 2013

    • 96 points

       

      "This, Merry Edwards’s first Chardonnay from Olivet Lane Vineyard, is brilliant. There’s an alluring hint of buttery richness supported by imposing acidity. Ripe, but by no means overblown, this is a refined and stylish Chardonnay. The finish seemingly lasts forever, and each sip brings new thrills. Wow this is good! If she’s not careful she could be known more for her Chardonnays than her superb Pinot Noirs."

      Michael Apstein, Wine Review Online, December 2012

    • 92 points

       

      "This Chardonnay shows the ripe fruit and tangy acidity derived from this cool-climate vineyard. It bears tart apricot, orange and mineral flavors, balanced by oaky notes of vanilla and buttered toast."

      Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast Buying Guide, March 2013

    •  

      "A complex chardonnay with a lot going on. Notes of apple, melon and creme brulee. Striking."

      Peg Melnik, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Dec. 5, 2012

    • 92 points: "Very highly recommended"

       

      "Medium-light golden yellow color; attractive, floral, apple and stone fruit aroma with light tropical notes and hints of nutmeg and vanilla; medium-full body; crisp, spicy, lemony, green apple flavors with a slightly creamy mouthfeel, lingering aftertaste."

      California Grapevine, December 2012

    • 90 points

       

      "Smooth-textured, with green apple, citrus and leafy Chardonnay flavors that are leesy and minerally, ending with clean, subtle notes."

      James Laube, Wine Spectator, March 2013

    • "Hearty Whites for Winter"

       

      "(T)his lush chardonnay, presented by master of pinot noir Merry Edwards, is fully barrel-fermented and barrel-aged for 10 months in French oak. Clearly made with food in mind, it can be paired with lemon risotto with asparagus (the recipe can be found at merryedwards.com)."

      Virginie Boone, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, January 2013

Vintages