Old-School Russian River Cool


Pellegrini: home to the oldest producing Pinot Noir vines in all of Sonoma

2017 Pellegrini
Olivet Lane Pinot Noir


Winery price: $65. (See here.)

Our price on 1: Only $50! (23% off.) Buy here.
Our price on 3: Only $45! (Over 30% off.) Buy here.
Our price on 6: Only $40! (38% off!) Buy here.


TL; DR: Pinot Noir from perhaps the single most iconic vineyard in Sonoma's Russian River Valley — the oldest Pinot vineyard in all of Sonoma, and the vineyard-designated source for wines like Williams-SelyemMerry Edwards and more)? For the lowest price in the US on 3... And perhaps the lowest price it's ever been offered at on 6? Some of you have already clicked; the rest of you can read on!)

In 2017, Russian River Valley's cultiest Pinot producer, Williams-Selyem, made an Olivet Lane Pinot Noir; it garnered scores of 96, 96, 95, 94 and 94 respectively from the five big wine magazines. (If you're lucky you can find a bottle for $120.)

That same year, the nigh-equally renowned Merry Edwards made an Olivet Lane Pinot Noir that took home a 97, 95, 94, 93+, and 91 from the same quintet of scribes. (Hers come in at the bargain price of around $100-110, when and if you can find one!)

What do those two wines have in common? They're sourced from the single-oldest Pinot vineyard in the Russian River Valley: the Pellegrini-owned vineyard known as "Olivet Lane," named for the ancient-seeming olive trees that line the road to the Pellegrini estate.

And one of the best-kept secrets in all of Russian River Valley wine? The Pellegrinis don't sell all their grapes to Williams-Selyem and Merry Edwards! Indeed, they make micro-amounts of wine from their own iconic vineyard that mostly goes straight to their mailing list. Like its counterparts at Merry Edwards and Williams-SelyemPellegrini's (unreviewed) Olivet Lane is one of the best 2017 Russian River Valley Pinots that exist on the market. But unlike its peers? $240 gets you 6 bottles, not 2!


Vineyards seen through Olivet Lane

One of California's most undisputed wine pioneers, Pellegrini's been associated with every aspect of the Californian wine business since almost the beginning of the 20th Century (as grower, grape-seller, winemaker, and even importer!). Family-owned for four generations, their pride and joy is their historic Olivet Lane monopole vineyard: home to the oldest producing Pinot Noir vines in all of Sonoma County, now almost 50 years old.

A gorgeous site, the Olivet Lane Vineyard sits atop an undulating benchland of well-drained, gravelly, clay loam soil. Set in the very heart of the Russian River Valley appellation, it's just east of the Laguna de Santa Rosa, which means the fog lingers long here: the vines are often protected under a cool white blanket from evening through the late morning. What does this mean? Natural acidity is preserved, making for a wine that's as vibrant as it is fruit- and site-driven.


Morning fog in the Olivet Lane Vineyard,
their iconic giant redwood tree poking up from below.


Pellegrini's 2017 edition of Olivet Lane Pinot is gorgeous: medium-bodied if boldly structured, its rich with flavors of black cherry, brambly blackberry, dark earth, spice notes and hints of eucalyptus. Soft and luxurious on the palate with a long finish, this is amazing now, but will still cellar easily for five years. (The winery says "10+"... but who's waiting that long?)

2017 Pellegrini
Olivet Lane Pinot Noir


Winery price: $65. (See here.)

Our price on 1: Only $50! (23% off.) Buy here.
Our price on 3: Only $45! (Over 30% off.) Buy here.
Our price on 6: Only $40! (38% off!) Buy here.