When temperatures really start to climb, this Single-Vineyard Pinot Noir from one of Russian River Valley’s coolest pockets, is our go-to red wine for summer! Get to know EnRoute’s Northern Spy Vineyard Pinot Noir.
It’s official. Summer is here, and with it comes so many great occasions to get outside, break out your backyard smoker and pull the cork on a great bottle of wine. The summer caveat, however, is that you want a wine that can hold its own against the rich flavors of, say, a slow-smoked pork shoulder, yet has bright, silky flavors that still feel refreshing on a hot day.
On sunny July and August days here at EnRoute, we often turn to our Single-Vineyard Pinot Noir from one of our coolest Russian River Valley sites, the Northern Spy Vineyard. The wine consistently gives us the most intoxicating fruit-floral perfume (think plums, violets and lavender) with cool, dark blue fruit flavors, and a beautifully lifted minerality on the finish.
Keep reading to learn more about this special Green Valley vineyard and wine:
The Northern Spy Vineyard is planted near the southwestern edge of the Russian River Valley, just 10 miles from the Pacific Coast. This 21.5-acre property, of which 17.5 acres are planted, is part of a highly prized Russian River Valley sub-AVA called Green Valley. When we first planted the vineyard, we carefully selected five unique Pinot Noir clones ideally suited for the region’s famous Goldridge soils. These fractured sandstone soils are deep, soft and well-draining. They leave a superfine dust on your boots, but our Pinot Noir clones love them! The combination of clones, soils and climate in our Northern Spy Vineyard consistently give us modest yields and moderately-sized vines and clusters. It's our last vineyard to be harvested each year, and the grapes offer deep blue fruit flavors, with bright acidity and soft tannins.
Like our Amber Ridge Vineyard fruit, the majority of Pinot Noir from our Northern Spy Vineyard serves as the foundation for our flagship Russian River Valley Pinot, the EnRoute “Les Pommiers.” All five clones contribute to the “Les Pommiers,” however, Winemaker Andrew Delos uses a single clone, the Mt. Eden clone, to create our single-vineyard bottling of Northern Spy Vineyard Pinot Noir. The wines are fermented using native yeast, which creates a slower, cooler fermentation that works exceptionally well with the Mt. Eden clone. Although no two vintages are alike, year after year our Northern Spy Vineyard Pinot is intensely fragrant and has the silkiest texture.
The Menu Options
In addition to the slow-smoked pork shoulder we mentioned earlier, Northern Spy pairs beautifully with slow-roasted duck (another great use for your smoker!) as well as whole roasted chicken and wild mushrooms like morels. Wild mushroom risotto is one of our dinner party favorites. Especially if we liven up the dish with bacon. If you’re a more adventurous eater, we highly recommend sweetbreads.
Whether you’re serving it alongside a romantic date night menu or simply sipping it while the barbecue heats up, we invite you to get to know more about our EnRoute Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Northern Spy Vineyard here.
Check back in a few weeks to find out what we drink to toast the end of summer’s “dog days” and transition into our harvest season. Cheers to finding your favorite summer red wines!
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