by EnRoute on March 4, 2014
2012 EnRoute Pinot Noir, Les Pommiers, captures classic Russian River Valley attributes with plenty of dark fruits, tobacco and mineral notes. Executive Chef Trevor Eliason and Winemaker Andrew Delos discuss the wine in this video, and Chef Trevor shares a mouthwatering recipe that will pair perfectly.
Check out the full recipe here, and to acquire your own 2012 EnRoute Pinot Noir, visit our brand new wine shop.
by EnRoute on January 20, 2014
Despite the distinct absence of a Polar Vortex here at EnRoute, it is most definitely winter. The harvest is a fast receding memory, the 2013 wines are put to bed, and the only sounds in the cellar are coming from Jack, the winery dog. Well, mostly.
Unlike our Cabernet-steeped siblings at Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel, we here in Pinot Land don’t spend the entire winter racking wine back and forth, blending and barreling down again. On the contrary, to maintain EnRoute’s signature aromatics and complexity, we leave the wines in barrel until bottling, the summer following vintage, disturbing them only for topping. This means we spend our non-topping hours cleaning, organizing, running lab analysis, planning (already!) for the 2014 vintage—and, of course, playing with the dog.
It could be said that Jack—Winemaker Andrew Delos’ 82-pound black lab—is EnRoute’s most active team member at the moment. With the human contingent either sitting at desks or leisurely performing cellar work, Jack darts down barrel rows and bounds across tank pads, often in search of his favorite toys in the world: retired barrel bungs. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t repeatedly chase a thrown or kicked bung, bouncing erratically like an on-side kick. In fact, he is so demanding of us in this regard that we have developed sore arms and legs. So much for all that harvest stamina!
Chasing bungs is hard work, though, so Jack can only take so much in a day. When not careening around the cellar, he enjoys being the center of attention in the winery office. This involves begging for food in the break room, rifling through trashcans, and—his favorite office job—sleeping on the couch.
So it goes at EnRoute this winter. When spring arrives (which looks to be in short order this year!), we will begin our evaluation of the 2013 wines, head into the vineyards to assess the nascent 2014 crop, and continue to play bung fetch with a certain winery dog. Stay tuned for news of the 2013 vintage, as well as the growing EnRoute team!
by EnRoute on June 4, 2013
Winemaker Andrew Delos is happy to report that the vineyards are enjoying the long, sunny spring days. Weather conditions are starting the season off wonderfully, and flowering and fruit set are well underway. The warm temperatures in the northern area of the Russian River have developed early berry set and beautiful clusters on the vine. To the south, there are cooler temperatures and a later start of fruit set, but very uniform flowering under near perfect conditions. Looks like the 2013 growing season will be a good one for our Russian River Valley-based winery! In fact, many delightful things are currently in motion for EnRoute — stay tuned.
To learn more about our current vintage, click here.
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.