Merry Edwards Winery Olivet Lane Chardonnay
Sonoma County, United States
November 23, 2023, James Suckling
“A wonderful brightness to this white with honey blossom, lemon character and green melon. Shows tension and brightness. Phenolic texture and firmness. Lots going on.”
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.
Chardonnay grapes were hand-picked and hand-sorted in the vineyard followed by a second pass at the winery. 100% whole cluster pressed. This wine ferments in barrel at a leisurely pace. It spends nine months aging in French oak with lees-stirring done twice weekly. This progression builds upon the underlying fruit concentration, producing wines of stunning complexity.
The 2021 single-vineyard Chardonnay is classic Olivet Lane: bright and luscious. Scents of fresh summer peaches, kiwi, lemon zest, white flowers and lush butterscotch rise from the glass. The bright entry leads to a core of juicy acidity. This wine dances across your palate, with a warm toasty finish featuring accents of yellow stone fruit, cream soda and honeycomb.
Dungeness crab dip makes a sumptuous appetizer pairing with this rich Chardonnay.
Varietals: 100% Chardonnay
Wine Alcohol: 14.3%
Harvest Start Date: September 30, 2021
Bottling Date: August 2022
Soil Composition: Gravelly, clay loam
New Oak: 47% new French oak (François Frères, Dargaud & Jaegle, Cadus)
Aging: 9 months