Single Vineyard Pinot Noir from Northern Spy Vineyard
Made in the Heart of the Russian River Valley
Northern Spy Vineyard
This offering hails from our vineyard just outside the town of Graton, in the Green Valley area of the Russian River Valley. Acquired as an abandoned apple orchard, we had the opportunity to develop the area into our Northern Spy Vineyard. The wine from this cooler growing region rounds out our Pinot Noir blend with intricately layered dark fruits and mineral, while also giving it persistence and volume.
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir, Pommard Clone
Harvest Dates: September 11, 2015
Fermentation: 4 and 5-ton open top tanks, 20% whole cluster
Aging: 15 months in French oak barrels
Winemaker: Andrew Delos
Director of Winemaking: Dirk Hampson
Release Date: November 2017
First Vintage: 2013
Northern Spy Vineyard’s 17.5 acres of double-Guyot-trained vines are rooted in the region’s famous Goldridge sandy loam soils, comprised of weathered sandstone and granite, with a fine, almost powder-like topsoil. Located in the Green Valley area of the southwest corner of the Russian River Valley, this vineyard enjoys very cool nights and mornings. Fog typically covers the vineyard from 6:00 pm until about 11:00 am during the summer months. Daytime temperatures typically hover in the low-to-mid-80s, encouraging vines that have intensely concentrated, small berries. The cool temperatures and less direct sunlight lead to vines that are harvested up to one month later than the much warmer Amber Ridge Vineyard.
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!
The 2015 Northern Spy displays the hallmark aromas of Green Valley: a showy perfume, intense floral notes, fresh crushed blueberry and pomegranate, and a lovely herbaceous note similar to bergamot or black tea. The wine enters the palate bright and lively, offering pure red fruits. The silky tannins seem to glide across the palate leaving a mineral and raspberry note that is long and persistent.