Pelliegrini’s Three Shades of Pinot Noir

The Pellegrini family emigrated from Lucca, Italy, to Santa Rosa, California, in 1915 and soon began growing grapes and making wine. Sixty years later the family established the Olivet Lane Vineyard in the Santa Rosa Plains. Today, Alexia Pellegrini, the 4th generation of the family, continues the winemaking tradition.  Among the many wines sold under the Olivet Lane label are three different expressions of Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir Blanc, Rosé of Pinot Noir, and Nouveau of Pinot Noir, all crafted by winemaker Charlie Fauroat. Sourced from the original Martini clone vines planted by Vincent Pelligrini in 1975, they’re all very good.

The Wines

Alexia Pellegrini and Winemaker Charlie Fouroat

Pellegrini 2021 Olivet Lane White Pinot Noir Russian River Valley ($40) 90 White Pinot Noir is most often found in Champagne, but here Pellegrini makes a still wine from the juice of whole cluster pressed Pinot Noir grapes. It’s Champagne-like in color and mineral like in the mouth. It offers hints of white cherries and garden-fresh herbs and a high acid, generous palate, finishing with lingering rich extract. Matured 5 months in neutral French oak; pH 3.31, 13.6% alc.

Pellegrini 2021 Olivet Lane Rosé of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley ($40) 91 The Olivet Lane Rosé of Pinot Noir is redolent of ripe summer berries. It’s fresh as one might expect but rounder and fuller in the mouth than most rosés. It has a layered, slightly creamy texture that’s immediately appealing, good density of flavor, and a lingering finish. Try with roast chicken. Pressed by foot followed by two hours on the skins; tank fermented and aged. pH 3.43, 13.9% alc.

Pellegrini 2021 Olivet Lane Nouveau of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley ($40) 91  Akin to a Beaujolais nouveau, the Nouveau of Pinot Noir is fresh, bright, fruit forward, and very juicy. On the palate, it’s like drinking the juice of sweet red cherries with hints of fresh herbs, but it’s bone dry with plenty of breadth and length. Creative and successful! Made with carbonic maceration and fermented with native yeast in stainless steel. pH 3.76, 13.7% alc. Best served very slightly chilled.

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