With the release of our 2014 EnRoute Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, “Les Pommiers this month, we can’t help but flash back to August, 2014, when one of the earliest, most intensely-paced harvests in EnRoute history kicked off. Below, Winemaker Andrew Delos recounts:
“The 2014 Russian River Valley growing season gave us everything we were looking for – early budbreak, a warm, dry spring, and a modest, moderate summer. It was, however, our earliest harvest on record, and the fruit set was so early and ideal that everything seemed to be ready to come in to the winery at once. With only six members (total) on the EnRoute winemaking team, we definitely weren’t looking for that! We had to work hard at scheduling the picks in each of our vineyards; we filled every fermentation vessel that we could, we borrowed from our neighbors, we cranked up the winery boom box (yes, an actual boom box) and we dug in our heels and powered through some long, late nights. I can’t count the times we crawled home to bed, only to return, four hours later, for the next shift.
It was the typical harvest chaos – the waves of fruit, the sorting and destemming, the midnight punch downs and pre-dawn tank cleanings – kicked up to warp speed. And then, after four weeks of too much coffee and too few showers, after all the fruit had finished coming in from the vineyards and we began hand-pressing our individual lots in our basket press, it happened. All of the wines “went quiet.” The aromatics were so subtle as to almost seem non-existent. We were flummoxed. The fruit quality was near-perfect, the juice had been bright and alive throughout fermentation. What happened?
After about three weeks in barrel, beautiful floral, plum and spice notes were pouring out of the glass during sampling. In fact, the clarity and depth of the aromatics was astounding. That’s when we knew we had one of the truly great vintages on our hands. We will never be entirely sure why our wines went so “quiet” upon pressing. It will forever remain a 2014 harvest mystery, not to mention one of those things that makes my hair turn white!”
Tasting the 2014 EnRoute “Les Pommiers" now, we are drawn to the depth and length of our flagship Pinot Noir. Our 2014 EnRoute Single-Vineyard Pinot Noirs, to be released this fall exclusively to our EnRoute Pinot Noir Club members, are equally compelling.
This vintage, overall, achieves the holy trifecta of winemaking: they drink beautifully on their own, offer versatility when it comes to pairing with food, and possess a structure and integrity that evolve and age with real grace.
We cannot wait for you to taste them!
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