The nose leads with wonderful notes of yellow apple, lime, and fresh chamomile flowers, and is complexed with a hint of green tea, musk melon, and lanolin. The palate is well-balanced with notes of mineral and apple skin, and starfruit. There is an impression of tannin that seems to cling onto a protracted finish, owing to the old Wente clone.
Located on the western benchlands of the Santa Rosa Plain, the Olivet Lane Vineyard is one of the older vineyards in the Russian River Valley. It was planted in 1975 by the Pellegrini family to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines exclusively.
The 2015 vintage continues the hit parade of great quality vintages of the last four years. The season started under extreme drought conditions for the 4th consecutive season despite a wet early winter. January was very dry and warm and brought bud break earlier than expected by about 12 days compared to 2014. The rains returned in early February and dramatically slowed down the growth of the plants. May temperatures were some of the coldest on record and negatively impacted flowering and therefore fruit set. It was common for clusters to have millerandage, or a “hens and chicks” (big berry, little berry) phenotype, great for wine quality but severely limited yields. By the end of July the heat returned and, coupled with limited fog intrusion, the ripening process sped along quickly. In fact, harvest started on the last day of July…the earliest on record in the 36 vintages at Williams Selyem! Despite an auspicious start and a dramatic finish to the season, the 2015 wines may surpass some of the great recent vintages as they are bold and yet maintain their trueness to site. With superb color, structure and acidity, the wines have staying power, but with the wonderful texture and richness that are expressed today, who can resist them now?