Single-Vineyard Pinot Noir from Amber Ridge Vineyard
Made in the Heart of the Russian River Valley
Amber Ridge Vineyard
Amber Ridge grows on a gently rolling hillside in the warm Upper Middle Reach of the Russian River Valley. One of our earlier vineyard acquisitions, this site is considered to produce the backbone of our EnRoute Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, “Les Pommiers” blend. Amber Ridge offers a powerful palate balanced with bright acidity, as well as the prominent Bing cherry notes present in “Les Pommiers.”
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir, Calera Clone
Harvest Dates: August 18-26, 2015
Fermentation: 4, 5, and 6-ton open top tanks; 15% whole cluster
Aging: 15 months in French oak barrels
Winemaker: Andrew Delos
Director of Winemaking: Dirk Hampson
Release Date: November 2017
First Vintage: 2013
The Amber Ridge Vineyard is the backbone of EnRoute Pinot Noir, “Les Pommiers.” Located off Starr Road, this 22-acre site is the warmest of our vineyards. The vineyard enjoys long mornings and evenings with clear, warm skies. Fog, the hallmark of the Russian River Valley, begins its early morning recession to the coast, starting at the northern end of the valley, and then returns in the late afternoon from the south. This seasonal fog pattern can allow for up to three extra hours of sunlight and warmth when compared to our vineyards just 12 miles away on the southern end of the valley.
2015 was the earliest harvest in the history of EnRoute Winery, with vineyards being harvested an average of 14 days early. Drought conditions in spring and early summer resulted in a greatly reduced crop with uncommonly small, yet concentrated, berries. As the warm summer progressed, the fruit matured quickly, and by the second week of August we started to see beautifully mature berry tannins and fresh, red-and-black fruit flavors with perfect sugars. Harvest began in the warmer northern Russian River Valley on August 14th and slowly progressed south over four weeks, finishing in the very cool Green Valley AVA. From the onset of fermentation the wines displayed lovely dark red and black fruit aromas with just the right amount of sage, underbrush and a touch of forest floor. Tannins and color were abundant in 2015, and the resulting wines possess deep color, rich and coating tannins, and a very persistent, juicy core. The 2015 wines are extremely pleasing upon release, but because of their structure and intensity, will reward anyone who should choose to lay some down for 5-10 years or more!
This might be the star of the vintage. Amazingly pure aromas of cherry, plum and raspberry meld with hints of mineral, rhubarb and rose petal. In the mouth, persistent ripe, juicy berry flavors coat the palate and melt to a silky, elegant finish. The concentration of this vintage should provide a notable ability to age beautifully for the next 5-10 years.