It takes many years to coax from a single vineyard its core personality – the ultimate expression of character that can be consistently repeated, harvest after harvest. I have been privileged to work with Pinot Noir from Olivet Lane for nearly two decades.
During that time there have been seasons both early and late, crop loads have fluctuated and viticultural practices have improved. In the late 90’s these venerable old vines were converted to a vertical trellis. Severe hedging was discontinued and early deficit irrigation was implemented.We have experimented with cold soaking times and temperatures, yeasts, percentage of whole clusters, extended maceration and an array of cooperage. From all of this we have learned how to encourage the terroir of this vineyard to fully reveal itself.
My annual challenge is to interpret its nature much as a sculptor would discover the inner being captured in a piece of Carrara Marble.For those of us who have fallen in love with Olivet Lane, it is the focus that is so compelling. The purity of cherry fruit in all its forms – Bing, Black, Queen Anne and chocolate-dipped – is celebrated in the aroma of this garnet-hued beauty. This wine acts as a sponge, demanding nearly 80 percent new French oak each vintage, yet imparting only a hint of nutmeg. The most elegant of our Pinots, this regal wine is soft and velvety on the palate, leaving an enduring finish to savor.
Raviolis stuffed with wild mushrooms complement this wine, as does Ragout of Rabbit Forestiere. Another delightful pairing would be roasted quail in a cherry-infused Pinot reduction.