A few years ago I met Jenny Lynn, she was working on a passion project that I immediately became a big fan of. She had just released the first vintage of her label Olet’te. Her first release was the Olet’te English Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast. After tasting the wine I was hooked and placed it on the Morimoto Napa list, which I was overseeing at the time.
The wine was enchanting with dark fruit, black tea and a complex elegance only achieved with pristine fruit and thoughtful winemaking. For the first vintage she had her friend and celebrated winemaker Alan Viader lend his expertise.
Over the last couple years I saw Jenny in passing and we always talked about catching up. Quite frankly, I was quite intrigued about the developments of her brand and wanted to explore the new releases but we hadn’t been able to connect. Finally, a few days ago she reached out and insisted we put a date on it, so we did.
We met in Rutherford at the Wine Vault. The place is an excellent meeting place, wine storage and museum curated by John Franks. Upon arrival, John took us on a tour of the property showcasing some of the many treasures they’ve collected over the years.
We sat down in the front space and Jenny guided me through their current lineup while she explained the new developments with the project.
She took over the winemaking with the help of her friend Kevin Vecchiarelli who cut his winemaking teeth at Grgich Hills and CIRQ Winery.
Her lineup has grown adding a California Chardonnay sourced mainly from Anderson Valley, Sonoma Coast and Carneros, the King Jay Pinot Noir mainly from Anderson Valley, a Russian River Pinot Noir and the latest addition, a muscular and delicious Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon under the Tribe & Arrow label. Overall a small and handcrafted lineup that exemplifies varietal correctness and hits the right spot.
But what about the name? Well, Olet’te translated from Coastal Native language means coyote and it all ties back to Jenny’s childhood when her dad used to tell her vivid stories about the local California tribes.
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It is quite refreshing to find producers making projects that reflect the wide diversity of our own backyard. Kudos to Jenny and her strong team to continue producing compelling and tasty wines.
Here the tasting notes from our last meeting.
— 2017 Olet’te Chardonnay, California (Drink Now-2026) A white flower celebration leads the party with Granny Smith Apple, Meyer Lemon zest and freshly baked pie crust balanced by a crisp and cleansing structure full of lemon curd and tropical fruit resolving in a long and mouthwatering finish.
— 2017 Olet’te Pinot Noir Russian River (Drink Now-2028) Playful and bountiful aromas of fresh and dried red roses, cola and wild raspberry fields with depth and concentration and a blissful finish.
— 2013 Olet’te English Hill Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast (ready to drink) A Beaune-like structure full of dark cherry and bramble-led potpourri with hints of incense, holiday spice complex structure resolving in elegant and velvety tannins.
— 2017 Olet’te King Jay Pinot Noir California (Drink Now-2026) expressive and festive layers of red roses and lavender tease the senses, fresh baked blueberry pie lush and elegant with a touch of vanilla on the finish.
— 2016 Tribe & Arrow Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Mountain Napa Valley (Drink Now-2030) purple flowers led by violets and lilacs, bold and muscular with dark fruit in the core laced with notes of black tea and plenty of winter spice and generous lengthy tannins.