Merry Edwards Winery Olivet Lane Chardonnay
Sonoma County, United States
93 Points, Cellar Selection
March 2023, Jim Gordon
“This medium-bodied, well-balanced wine from the Pellegrini family’s vineyard offers tasty but subtle vanilla, fig, poached pear and toast flavors that blend beautifully on the palate, supported by a tangy apricot note and touch of mouthwatering acidity. Best through 2030.”
Merry Edwards Winery was founded in 1997 and produces terroir-driven, single-vineyard wines from 80 acres of estate vineyards in the Russian River Valley. The winery is known for crafting Pinot Noirs of immense depth, elegant structure and exceptional longevity as well as its aromatic, barrel-aged Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc, which is among the most sought after made in California. A single-vineyard Chardonnay and Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc round out the portfolio.
The Olivet Lane Vineyard, planted in 1975, is considered to be a Russian River Valley gem that still consistently produces stellar wines. After many years of working in the vineyards with her father, Robert, second-generation Alexia Pellegrini is now at the helm, taking great care to ensure that quality fruit production will continue into the future. We believe the 2020 vintage of our Olivet Lane Chardonnay will charm you with its alluring aromas and hold your attention with its characteristic richness.
This wine ferments in barrel at a leisurely pace. It spends a full eleven months aging in French oak with lees-stirring done twice weekly. This progression builds upon the underlying fruit concentration, producing wines of stunning complexity.
Tropical fruit notes leap from the glass of this lovely vintage of Olivet Lane—including kiwi, guava and melon—along with fragrances of poached pear, nectarine and apple tart. Entry begins with mouth-filling and rich Bananas Foster, complete with vanilla ice cream and a hint of toast. Meyer lemon, grilled peaches and toasted hazelnuts linger throughout the long finish.
Attentive vineyard management led these grapes to reach optimal ripeness at a much earlier point in the season. Timing was spot on. Crop load was reduced to be in perfect balance with the canopy, and the grapes held on to their acid quite well. The 2020 vintage truly illustrates the quality that this vineyard is capable of producing.
Dungeness crab dip makes a sumptuous appetizer pairing with this rich Chardonnay.
Varietals: 100% Chardonnay
Wine Alcohol: 14.3%
Bottling Date: August 2021
Soil Composition: Gravelly, clay loam
New Oak: 40% new French oak (François Frères, Dargaud & Jaegle, Cadus)
Aging: 11 months