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
Harvest Dates: August 19 – September 3, 2016
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 2018
First Vintage: 2013
We consider Amber Ridge Vineyard the backbone of our EnRoute Pinot Noir, “Les Pommiers.” Located off Starr Road, this 22-acre vineyard is the warmest site from which we source fruit. Although temperatures rarely exceed 90°F, the vineyard enjoys extended mornings and evenings with clear, warm skies. Fog, the hallmark of the Russian River Valley, begins its early morning recession towards the coast, starting at the northern end of the valley and then returning 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.
A warm, dry spring woke our vines up very early in the year, with budbreak and bloom in late February to early March. Our Amber Ridge fruit matured quickly over the warm summer months, 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. Amber Ridge was oneof our first vineyards to be harvested, with our first picks coming into the winery on August 15. From the onset of fermentation, the wines displayed lovely red and black fruit aromas with just the right amount of sage, underbrush and a touch of forest floor. Tannins were very elegant and colors ranged from a beautiful transparent purple to Bing-cherry red, resulting in wines that are lusciously perfumed and silky on the palate. The 2016 vintage is extremely pleasing upon release, but because of their balance and pedigree, will reward anyone who should choose to lay some down for 5–10 years or more!
This was another banner year for the Amber Ridge Vineyard. Amazingly pure aromas of cherry, plum and raspberry meld with soft notes of mineral, rhubarb and rose petal. On the palate, generous juicy berry flavors melt into a finish that is long and silky. With its elegant perfume and ripe fruit flavors, this vintage will continue to shine for years to come.