The vineyard at Olivet Lane is over thirty years old, and I have been producing wines from these grapes since 1989. This stunning 2004 may be my best vintage yet. As the vines advance in age, the crop size diminishes, concentrating the intense aromas and flavors. Tannins, too, become more refined.
Using Méthode à l’Ancienne, a series of traditional winemaking steps, I captured and elevated the grapes’ expansive profile. Following an initial cold-soaking period, I fermented the grapes in small, open-top vessels, punching down the cap of grape skins and berries. These time-honored practices focus the fruit intensity and enhance the rich texture. The wine aged for ten months in eighty percent new French oak barrels, developing an inviting toastiness.
This wine is a cherry extravaganza: Bing cherry, black cherry, chocolate-covered cherry and an almond - like maraschino. Aromas of jasmine and violet add intrigue to the concentrated fruit character. It has a long, deep finish – a promise of great aging potential.
A complex wine of ample proportion, the 2004 Olivet Lane is best enjoyed with savory courses. Lamb in any fashion is a favorite: braised lamb shanks with lavender, lamb ragout or grilled spring lamb chops. Stuffed eggplant with mushrooms, cream and cheese is an elegant vegetarian dish complimentary to this wine’s silky texture and weight.