Les Pommiers: Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley
“Les Pommiers” Pinot Noir draws its name from the apple orchards emblematic of the Russian River Valley’s agricultural history. At once elegant and intense, “Les Pommiers” is the consummate blend of fruit from our vineyards located primarily in the Green Valley and upper Middle Reach areas of the Russian River Valley AVA.
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Harvest Dates: August 14 – September 15, 2016
Aging: French oak barrels (40% new / 60% neutral)
Skin Contact: 14 days on average
Time: 11 months
Winemaker: Andrew Delos
Director of Winemaking: Dirk Hampson
Release Date: Spring 2018
First Vintage: 2007
Our Northern Spy Vineyard in Russian River Valley’s Green Valley AVA was an abandoned apple orchard that was groomed specifically for EnRoute. We are thrilled with the quality of the fruit coming from this site, which grows on the region’s famous Goldridge soils. Pommard 5, Mt. Eden, Swan, 2A and Dijon clones 115 and 777 are planted on 101-14 rootstock with 4 x 7 spacing in this vineyard. Our Amber Ridge Vineyard is located on rolling terrain in the upper Middle Reach area of the Russian River Valley. Planted with bilateral vertical trellising, the clonal mix includes Pommard 5, Calera and Dijon clones 115, 667 and 777 using 101-14 rootstock to limit vigor. Manzana Vineyard continues to play an important role in the Les Pommiers blend, with its hillside fruit planted in Green Valley to Dijon clones 114, 115 and Pommard 5.
A warm, dry spring woke our vines up very early in the year, with budbreak and bloom beginning in late February to mid-April. Our warm, northernmost vineyards matured quickly over the warm summer months, with our cooler Green Valley sites following closely behind them. By the second week of August we started to see beautifully mature berry tannins and fresh, red-and-black fruit flavors with perfect sugars across all of our Russian River Valley vineyards. Our first picks came into the winery on August 15 and by September 12, we’d started bringing in fruit from our cool Northern Spy Vineyard. From the onset of fermentation, all of 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 ripe and 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 its balance and pedigree, will reward anyone who should choose to lay some down for 5–10 years or more!
The 2016 EnRoute Les Pommiers possesses the luxurious perfume aromatics and rich textures that we love about Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. On the nose, aromas of ripe cherry and plum are complemented by notes of earth, sage and forest floor. Generous-yet-soft red-fruit flavors expand on the palate, with elegant tannins that are the definition of silky. A mouthwatering natural acidity glides across the finish, making this vintage irresistibly approachable upon release.