Each vintage the old vines at Olivet Lane produce a smaller and smaller crop of precious fruit. This treasured vineyard is one of the oldest Pinot Noir properties in Russian River Valley, only slightly younger than that of my mentor, Joseph Swan. I have had the privilege to make wine from these grapes since the mid-1980s, so both owner Bob Pellegrini and his vineyard are longtime friends of mine.
This Pinot Noir is another outstanding example of what this cherished vineyard is capable of producing. Its beautiful garnet hue raises our expectations of what is to come, and we are not disappointed. The aroma is intense and striking with blue violets, lilac and dried rose petals accentuated by black plum, sarsaparilla, boysenberry and cassis. Sweet hoisin, savory notes and finely integrated oak add depth and complexity.
The aromas fully translate into opulent flavors. The fine-grained grape tannins, and the support of 81 percent new French oak, create a seamless palate. This Pinot actually aseems to gain weight and richness from the first sip through the long, extended finish.
A lovely pairing with this elegant wine is a dish created by my friend Andy Quady -- Quail Marinated in Vya, a dry vermouth. This can be served as an appetizer; as a first course, we sometimes plate several quail together. The herbs infused into the Vya are a nice counterpoint to the floral and fruity character of this classic Olivet Lane Pinot. You may find this recipe and more at merryedwards.com.
"A gorgeous pinot with depth. Complex, with layers of cassis, boysenberry and rose petals. Seamless texture. Impressive."
Peg Melnik, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, "Wine List," Nov. 2, 2014
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