Vacation? Nope. Evaluation!

02.16.12

Now that all of the grapes have been harvested, fermentations completed and the wines are in barrel, what exactly does a Pinot Noir winemaker do during the winter? Go on vacation! Just kidding. In all honesty, this may actually be the most stressful time in the entire winemaking cycle: The evaluation of our performance from the just completed vintage. We go into each vintage knowing exactly what wine we want to make. Of course, we hope for a perfect growing season, and sometimes come close, but Mother Nature usually manages to throw us a curveball. So, we make decisions on the fly and adjust accordingly. So how did we do in the 2011 vintage? I could present lots of numbers, charts and graphs that would make a strong argument for “great,” but in the end, wine isn’t really about numbers, and so we boil the question down to its essence: “How does it taste?” And that’s just what we do…we taste. Dirk, our director of winemaking, and I gather barrel samples from all of the just-finished wines and conduct a formal tasting. We assess color, aroma, mouthfeel, intensity, finish and our expectations of how each lot may impact the final “Les Pommiers” blend. If we feel that adjustments should be made, then this is the time to do it. At our tasting last week, the wines were showing intense aromatics of Bing cherry, pomegranate, and plum with undercurrents of mineral and earth. On the palate, youthful tannins coat the mouth and with a little more barrel age, they will become the silky, melting tannins that EnRoute has come to be known for. All in all, I think 2011 has great finesse and layers, even in this early stage of barrel aging. I cannot wait to watch – and taste - as it evolves over the next few months.

Related Posts

Winery & Vineyard Life Non-Malolactic Fermentation and the Far Niente Chardonnay House Style

07.29.19

Non-Malolactic Fermentation and the Far Niente Chardonnay House Style

Non-malolactic fermentation. Although the phrase doesn’t roll easily off the tongue, Chardonnays made without it certainly can. And it’s essential to our Far Niente Chardonnay house style.

LEARN MORE
Winery & Vineyard Life Our New Napa Cabernet is Our Finest Napa Valley Expression!

10.21.20

Our New Napa Cabernet is Our Finest Napa Valley Expression!

Introducing our Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley! Deeply reflective of Far Niente’s nearly four decades of crafting majestic Napa Cabernet, our Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley marries fruit from our estate vineyard in Oakville with hand-selected Cabernet lots from Calistoga, Oak Knoll, St. Helena, Stags Leap, Diamond Mountain, and Yountville.

LEARN MORE
Winery & Vineyard Life Russian River Wine Harvest, A Winemaker's Note

08.18.20

Russian River Wine Harvest, A Winemaker's Note

On the eve of our 2020 harvest, EnRoute Winemaker Michael Accurso penned this letter to all of our teams here at EnRoute and at the Far Niente Family of Wineries & Vineyards. We wanted to share his compelling, uplifting words with all of our winery family and friends.

LEARN MORE

If you are at least 21 years of age and willing to accept cookies, please click enter.
ENTER
Book a Tour Call Us