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 16, 2015
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 2017
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.
2015 was the earliest harvest on record for EnRoute, with vineyards being picked 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, our fruit matured quickly, and wonderful ripe flavors began to develop in early August. By the second week of August we began to see beautiful, mature, berry tannins and fresh red and black fruit flavors. Harvest began in the warmer northern Russian River Valley on August 14 and slowly progressed south, finally finishing in the cool Green Valley AVA a month later.
Lovely aromas of blackberry and Bing cherry are balanced by notes of sage, underbrush, and a touch of forest floor. Deep color, firm, yet fine-grained tannins, and a rich, juicy midpalate are hallmarks of the 2015 vintage. Because of this wine’s structure and intensity, setting a few bottles aside in the cellar for five or ten years will reap rewards.