“The Clay Court Vineyard sits atop Parrett Mountain and offers up pie cherry fruit with a backing of tart orange. At first it seems a little thinner than the other 2019 single vineyard selections from Elk Cove, with more lemony citrus flavors. With ample aeration the aromas build and the palate expands nicely with balanced acidity. Some wines need a bit of extra time after bottling and this seems to be one of them.”
– Wine Enthusiast (December 2021)
“A perfumed nose of raspberries, redcurrants and dried herbs. Medium-bodied with plush tannins and lively acidity. Fruity and silky with crunchy character and a slightly sweet finish. Drink or hold.”
– James Suckling (July, 2021)
“Glistening ruby. Pungent red berries, potpourri and allspice on the nose, along with hints of cola and freshly turned earth. Bright and energetic on the palate, offering subtly chewy raspberry and cherry flavors and building spice and candied rose nuances. Round, even tannins add gentle grip to a long, supple finish that echoes the red fruit and floral notes. 29% new French oak.”
– Vinous (February, 2022)
VINTAGE 2019 required experience and courage. After 45 years, we often say there isn’t a harvest we haven’t seen, but 2019 was an odd one. After a warm May and a healthy, early fruit-set, the summer ended cool with no threat of the sunburn or hazy, smoky skies seen in recent years. We expected to pick in early September, but weeks of unseasonably cool weather took us by surprise. Rather than rushing to pick too early, we waited patiently for concentrations and sugar levels to rise, confident that our vineyard practices would protect the fruit.
According to Winemaker/Owner Adam Campbell “You pick your moments. If you’re 100% estate grown and you have impeccable timing – you can grow fantastic fruit in any year. It took months of preparation in the vineyard, and some very long days during crush, but we had a great crew in 2019 and managed to get sugar levels right where we want them.”
Our goal is a minimum 100 days from bloom to harvest; 2019 saw hang times as long as 125 days in some blocks. Expect wines with a big ripe core of concentrated fruit and a bright, fresh profile.
Clay Court sits atop a picturesque hillside in the Parrett Mountain zone of the Chehalem Mountains AVA. This 15 acre all-Pinot-Noir vineyard was planted in 2001 with the classic Pommard and modern Dijon 115 and 777 clones of Pinot Noir. Clay Court was purchased by Elk Cove in 2009 and is the home of founders Joe and Pat Campbell – and their beloved tennis court! With gentle east-facing slopes, dark red Jory clay soils, and a proven track-record for producing high-quality Pinot Noirs, Clay Court Vineyard was immediately a great addition to Elk Cove’s estate vineyards.
All of Elk Cove’s delicate Pinot Noir fruit undergoes the same gentle handling through our gravity flow system. This allows us to achieve the elegance, texture and luscious quality that are the hallmarks of exquisite Pinot Noir.
Clay Court Pinot Noir fruit is fermented in small, temperature controlled steel tanks, hand punched down twice daily then aged for ten months in French oak barrels. Our winemaking team then carefully blends the barrels most representative of the spicy flavors and concentrated red cherry fruit that characterizes this vineyard.