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 16 – September 30, 2017
Aging: French oak barrels (30% new / 70% neutral)
Skin Contact: 14 days
Time: 10 months
Winemaker: Andrew Delos
Director of Winemaking: Dirk Hampson
Release Date: Spring 2019
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.
The growing season of 2017 was a bit of a roller coaster ride with more extreme weather than usual. Adequate rainfall filled the soils, allowing for normal budbreak and good vine growth. A small hail-storm in June caused a slight concern of decreasing crop size, but we were very fortunate to have minimal damage. As expected, our northernmost vineyards matured quickly over the warm summer months, with our cooler Green Valley sites following closely behind them. Mature berry tannins and vibrant red-and-black fruit flavors with perfect sugars were present across all of our Russian River Valley vineyards by the third week of August. Our first pick came into the winery on August 16 and by September 15, we’d started bringing in fruit from our cool Northern Spy Vineyard.
The nose instantly fills with luscious aromas of juicy ripe red cherry, raspberry, star jasmine, with a light spice and mineral earthiness that while subdued, is still stark. Upon entry, the palate is silky and layered with flavors that are reflective of this wine’s aromatics—bright red fruit, rose petal and a touch of forest floor. The 2017 “Les Pommiers” boasts an exceptional purity of fruit, flavor and expression as it culminates in a bright, mouthwatering finish.