2012 Clay Court
Red-velvet in color with spicy plum and ripe red cherries on the nose. Entices with a smooth texture showing very concentrated red fruits of currents, fresh cranberry sauce, and raspberries falling ripe off the vine. Finishes silky and complete.
VINTAGE 2012 will go down as one of the finest in Oregon history in terms of quality of the raw materials. Mother Nature really smiled on us with not only a rain-free harvest season but perhaps more importantly with tiny berries and clusters. The small fruit allowed us to effortlessly and gently extract concentration and ripe tannins from the perfectly formed grapes.
According to owner/winemaker Adam Campbell “The wines from 2012 remind me and my folks of classic vintages like 1998 and 1994. Small clusters and berries give us an amazing skin-to-juice ratio, allowing us to be incredibly gentle through fermentation and still come up with powerful concentration and ripeness of fruit.”
Early reviews of the 2012 vintage use descriptors like “Stunning”, “Amazing” & “Epic” making Oregon winemakers giddy that 2012 could go down as the best vintage in our 50 year winemaking history.
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 40% new French oak. Our winemaking team then carefully blends the barrels most representative of the spicy flavors and concentrated red cherry fruit that characterizes this vineyard.
- Vine Age 11 years
- Yield 1.75 tons/acre
- Harvest Sugars 23.5 brix
- pH 3.37
- Vatting Fermentation in small open top steel fermenters. 10 months in French oak.
- Cases Produced 518
“Vibrant and expressive, with a spurt of currant and plum fruit leading a parade of tangy citrus, dusky spice and chai tea overtones…”
– Wine Spectator (October 15, 2014)
“Sexy, expressive aromas of dark berry liqueur, cherry pit, floral pastilles and woodsmoke, with a spicy topnote adding vibrancy.”
– Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar (July/August 2014)
90 Points in Wine & Spirits Magazine
– Wine & Spirits Magazine (August, 2014)
“The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin and respectable depth…”
– Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate (March, 2015)
“Bing cherry and dusty blackberry aromatics with cotton candy, minerality and mincemeat…”
– GreatNorthwestWine.com (May 22nd, 2014)
“Sourced from a 15-acre vineyard on Parrett Mountain, this displays single vineyard specificity…”
– Wine Enthusiast (June, 2014)