Symphonies and the soloists. The standalone sites and the team players.
When it comes to winemaking, metaphors are often a visual tool winemakers use to explain their decisions to marry fruit from multiple vineyards or choose to let a single-vineyard stand in the spotlight. At EnRoute, Winemaker Michael Accurso has a passion for both the star vineyards and the team players, which is why the EnRoute Pinot Noir portfolio consists of both a limited release of Single-Vineyard bottlings along with EnRoute's flagship Pinot Noir, "Les Pommiers." While EnRoute’s Single-Vineyard Pinot Noirs showcase the pedigree of their individual site, “Les Pommiers,” brings together our very best Russian River Valley vineyards.
Put another way, “If each of our Single-Vineyard Pinots offers a specific sense of grape and place,” says Accurso, then “Les Pommiers” is evocative of the Russian River Valley as a whole, packing everything we most love about this top-ranking wine region into one incredibly expressive Pinot Noir.”
“Although we fine tune every vintage to the growing season ,” continues Accurso, “we’re incredibly fortunate to have six key vineyards that consistently make the 'Les Pommiers' cut every year. Several of these vineyards also go into our limited-release Single-Vineyard Pinot Noir portfolio. That's because, much like the greatest pro athletes, they are standouts on their own but they also bring their strengths -- and draw out the strengths of their 'teammates' -- when working together."
So, what do these individual Russian River vineyards bring to the "Les Pommiers" Pinot Noir? Michael weighs in on each, below.
Amber Ridge Vineyard
Location: Upper Middle Reach in the Northern Russian River Valley
"This warmer site gives us quintessential Russian River Pinot Noir: full throttle, opulent, fleshy, with raspberry and strawberry preserves. The fruit profile is juicy, like a perfectly ripe plum that stains your chin with the very first bite. This vineyard really paints the whole fruit profile of 'Les Pommiers.' It gives us a full and complete midpalate. With Amber Ridge as our backbone, 'Les Pommiers' never risks being hollow in the middle."
Location: Atop a Hill Overlooking Russian River's Cool Green Valley
"The aromatic finesse that Marty's Vineyard Pinot Noir brings to "Les Pommiers" is pretty much unmatched. That’s also why we have a single-vineyard designate of it. Anything that can sing like that aromatically should have a stand-alone bottling. Year after year, Marty's Vineyard Pinot is botanical, elegant, with a fruit floral perfume and beautiful forest floor accents on the palate. Softness can speak volumes. Marty's reminds us of this."
Northern Spy Vineyard
Location: Tucked in the Southwest Corner of the Russian River Valley and Green Valley
"Northern Spy is the best point guard on our team. It throws an assist to all the other vineyards, but it can also shoot some threes. Sports analogies aside, Northern Spy provides 'Les Pommiers' with a structure that's both elegant and strong. Fruit from this vineyard adds layers of silky texture and classic red berry flavors to the overall wine, while also bringing all these little nuances to the blend: dried rose petal accents, hints of clove and Christmas spice. Northern Spy is also a strong closer, with flavors that carry all the way through and then linger on -- and lengthen -- the finish."
Saxon Priest Vineyard
Location: Along the Russian River Valley's Western Edge
"This is our highest elevation site, the closest in proximity to the Pacific Ocean. The vines are highly stressed, giving us super low yields with outstanding concentration. In other words, we don't get much fruit, but what we do get is incredibly powerful. This vineyard gives 'Les Pommiers' some shoulders and some gusto. The skin-to-juice ratio is the highest here, so it really delivers structure, color and concentration, with some great savory undertones supporting dark fruit flavors."
Black Emerald Vineyard
Location: The Literal Heart of Russian River Valley, Where the River Meets the Redwoods
"While this vineyard's in a warmer Russian River Valley pocket, its sandy soils are dry farmed. The resulting Pinot Noir is restrained, with a high aromatic profile that's more akin to Chanel than it is to more traditional dried rose petal aromatics or a fruit-floral potpourri. It's a sophisticated perfume, while the texture and palate weight that it offers is light and delicate."
Location: Central Russian River Valley, near Graton and a Stone's Throw from EnRoute's Winery Facility
"This vineyard often drives up to 25-percent of our 'Les Pommiers' blend. Well-established, deeply rooted, and 100-percent dry-farmed, wine from Emeritus offers a true representation of this vineyard's soil and the surrounding environment. This site is meticulously farmed, and the vines are some of the most deeply rooted and balanced in the Russian River Valley. The fruit we get has this gorgeous umami quality, with forest floor and earthy notes singing right alongside these beautiful berry flavors."
Want to learn more about EnRoute? Discover our story, browse our wines, read up on our vineyards, and follow us for more! Of course, one of the most delicious ways to learn about our Russian River Valley wines is to experience them firsthand. Customize a virtual wine tasting for your own happy hour at home. You can also taste a limited selection of EnRoute wines during select wine tastings at Far Niente Winery.
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