1999 Olivet Lane Pinot Noir
For ten fortunate years I have made Pinot Noir from grapes grown by the Pellegrini Family in their Olivet Lane Vineyard. Located on benchland in the center of the Russian River Valley appellation, this vineyard is home to some of the area's oldest Pinot Noir vines. At thirty years of age, they are prized by local winemakers. Year after year wine collectors cellar vintages from this vineyard.
I styled this wine to be rich and full bodied using a process favored by Burgundian winemakers- Methode a l' Ancienne. The technique, which involves cold soaking in small, open-top vessels and whole-cluster fermentation, releases the fullest expression of the fruit. Several times a day, during fermentation, I submerged the cap by hand to enhance extraction. I aged the Olivet Lane for ten months in eighty-four percent new French oak, selecting Francois Freres barrels as the perfect match for the wine's deep flavors.
This is a stylish Pinot Noir with classic dark Bing cherry aroma and flavor. Elegant yet rich, it has seamless balance and sumptuous texture with a layered, lengthy finish. The innate complexity of the Olivet Lane fruit gives this wine an unmistakable capacity for aging.
Wine & Spirits, February 2002