Gary Farrell Winery

Olivet Lane Chardonnay 2018

Russian River Valley, California

Download Listen

Pellegrini’s Olivet Lane Vineyard was planted in 1975 to Wente selection on AXR rootstock. The vineyard sits on 65 acres of sloping bench land in the Santa Rosa Plain, in between the warmer Westside Road region and the cooler Green Valley,where warm summer days are moderated by cool breezes and chilly evening temperatures. The combination of low temperatures, regular fog intrusion and well drained loam, clay soils create an excellent environment for growing Chardonnay that develop cool-climate characteristics and impeccable acid at fairly low sugars.The wines from this vineyard simultaneously express power and finesse, and they do so with tremendous balance.

VINEYARD

The Olivet Lane Vineyard is comprised of approximately .60 planted acres located on the Olivet Road in Santa Rosa, seven miles from Gary Farrell Winery. Located in the heart of the Russian River Valley, in a sub-region called the Santa Rosa Plain, this unique site is heavily influenced by fog that rolls in through the Petaluma Gap to the south. The rolling bench land location, well-drained, gravelly, clay loam soil and east/west vine exposure, combined with long, cool nights, all create optimum growing conditions for producing world-class Chardonnay great for ripening.

Nearly two-thirds of the vineyard is planted to Wente selection Chardonnay (planted in 1973 on AXR rootstock), a heritage selection that produces some of the best Chardonnays in all of California. The old vines create natural vine balance, excellent concentration and ample quantities of natural acidity. The vines are cane pruned, vertical shoot positioning (VSP) and faithfully tended by Robert Pellegrini for the past 40 years. The wines from this vineyard simultaneously express power and finesse, and they do so with tremendous balance.

WINEMAKING

The grapes were harvested in the cool morning hours at ~22.5° Brix. A quick pass was made through the rows a few days prior to harvest in order to drop fruit that didn’t express the optimal flavor concentration. As anticipated, the grapes that were delivered to the winery were packed with delicious, vibrant, varietally expressive characteristics. After a very careful hand-sorting, all fruit was combined in the press, and used a gentle program to extract only the most desirable solids and phenolics. The resulting juice was left in tank to cold-settle overnight before transferring to 35% new and 65% one to three-year old neutral French oak barrels and puncheons for fermentation and aging, where it remained for 9 months on its primary lees until it was time to bottle in June. The wine was racked off the primary lees only once, just before bottling.

VINTAGE

After several years of drought, heat and early harvests, 2018 was a breath of fresh air and a return to a more normal harvest onset. The season began with a cold, wet winter, which set the pace in that it delayed vine development by 3-4 weeks. Budbreak began mid to late March, followed by a mild, sunny spring. When bloom ensued in mid to late May, the weather was just right, with very little wind and no rain to damage the delicate flowers. When growers saw the generous potential cluster count after flowering, they knew it was going to be an ample crop. The nearly perfect weather throughout the summer months led to a very large, yet excellent quality crop. The month of August yielded typical, foggy Russian River Valley mornings, with sun finally breaking through late morning and vanishing again late afternoon. Harvest commenced on August 30th and was finished by September 29th, just before the rain came. Despite the quantity of clusters per vine, flavor, concentration and tannin levels were quite excellent. Canopy management was extremely important in that fruit thinning was necessary at multiple stages of vine development.

TASTING NOTE

“Attractive citrus notes of lemon tart, grapefruit and lime zest initially open up in the glass, followed by rich aromas of honeysuckle, lemongrass and pie crust. The palate opens up with flavors of roasted Meyer lemon, wildflower honey, apricot and peach. The texture is rich and creamy with an underlying layer of acidity and loads of fleshy fruit that linger into a persistent finish.” – Winemaker, Theresa Heredia

Color

White

Grape Varieties

Chardonnay

Appellation

Russian River Valley, California

Alcohol

13.8%

Reviews

"Textured and complex"

Wine Enthusiast - "With classic notes of green apple, white flower and lime, this impressively layered white is quenching in acidity, with a subtle backbone of toasted oak. Textured and complex, it unfurls lovely additional notes of candied lemon and wild honey." - P.G. 

"Minerally and fresh"

Wine Spectator - Featured Smart Buy  "Minerally and fresh, with hints of dried mint and anise to the fresh-cut green apple and Asian pear flavors. The svelte finish is backed by crunchy acidity and filled with toasty accents." - K.M. 

More on Gary Farrell Winery Olivet Lane Chardonnay 2018

Wine Picks: Capital Gazette

June 4, 2021 - Syndicated wine columnists Tom Marquardt and Patrick Darr recommended Gary Farrell Olivet Lane Chardonnay 2018 in the Capital Gazette's latest wine column. The duo waste no time offering praise for…

Toast with Mom

April 16, 2021 - USA Today selected Gary Farrell Olivet Lane Chardonnay 2018 as a top toast for Mother's Day this year. The story notes that the Russian River Valley region makes "world-class chardonnay,…

Trade Materials

Videos

Other Wines by this Producer

Russian River Selection Chardonnay

Russian River Valley, California

The Russian River Selection bottlings are quintessential Russian River Valley wines blended from some of the winery’s top vineyard sources. They are beautiful expressions of their varietal type and of the appellation’s unique terroir, each blend capturing the richness, purity and elegance that are Gary Farrell Winery’s trademarks. This layered and complex Chardonnay brings together fruit from several of our favorite Russian River Valley vineyard sites. 

Russian River Selection Pinot Noir

Russian River Valley, California

The Russian River Selection bottlings are quintessential Russian River Valley wines blended from some of the region’s top vineyards, taking advantage of varied climates and unique site characteristics.  Undoubtedly showcasing a beautiful expression of the varietal and of the appellation’s unique terroir, this Pinot Noir blend captures the richness, purity and elegance that are Gary Farrell Winery’s trademarks.

Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir

Russian River Valley, California

Named for its previous owners, the 100-acre Hallberg Vineyard is today owned and managed by wine industry veterans including vineyard manager Kirk Lokka. Nestled in the Green Valley sub-appellation, the site enjoys refreshing daytime breezes and cool nighttime temperatures. The strong marine influence means less severe daily temperature shifts so the vines never completely shut down, producing fruit with deep, dark color, great structure, silky tannins, darker fruit flavors and earthy characteristics. This blend is a composition of many of the best blocks on this cool, foggy vineyard site, which include clones 667, 777, 828, Pommard and a mysterious “suitcase” selection.