2017 En Route Les Pommiers Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
The Nickel Family (Far Niente Cabernet and Nickel & Nickel Cabernet) has been quietly producing Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley since the early 1980s. For years the wines sold in small amounts at the Far Niente tasting room – they are made only in tiny quantities and remember what the market was like for Pinot in the ‘80s – but as the market for Pinot blossomed post-Sideways they decided to turn their small passion for producing Pinot Noir into a viable self-standing winery.
To that end, the family purchased an old apple orchard (hence the name Les Pommiers) in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley AVA and planted the Pinot clones of 115, 667, 777 and Pommard. Further, they brought over Andrew Delos, winemaker at Far Niente, to craft what would become the EnRoute Point Noir. EnRoute because the destination is near-unattainable perfection, yet the journey itself can also be quite rewarding.
Les Pommiers captures aromatics of wild raspberry, black cherry, plum and floral notes that yield to minerals, spice and toasty oak. It has a juicy, coating entry, followed by more layers of raspberry and cherry fruit, and rich, integrated tannins. The wine is deftly shaped with a subtle combination of new and once-used French oak barrels. It’s from the powerhouse ’13 vintage and while can drink it now (with a solid decanting) I would recommend holding it for at least a year before starting in.
This is darn serious Pinot. I’ve been proud to sell it for $60, at $30, heck, I personally loaded up the cellar. So should you.
“Rich, with voluptuous dark fruit flavors and Asian spice accents. Dark cherry and plum tart notes dominate, showing hints of cassis. Cedar and sandalwood details emerge on the creamy finish. Drink now through 2025.” – Wine Spectator