2014 Clay Court
Aromatics feature cocktail cherries and raspberry pie alongside sweet layers of anise and candied orange peel. Warm and red-fruited, this wine fills the mouth with a silky, full-bodied burst of raspberry and red cherries. Finishes with an elegant, lively grip of dusty cedar and cinnamon stick.
Vintage 2014 in Oregon may be remembered as the vintage of a lifetime; one of those rare vintages, reminiscent of 1988 and 2002, when you have high quality and high quantity simultaneously. The tone for the season was set at bud break, which averaged two weeks early and held on through harvest. Growing conditions were mostly dry and warmer than normal resulting in a large number of small clusters that ripened evenly over the course of the summer, giving us wines that show as fruit focused, quite concentrated and with amazing freshness.
This year’s warmer than average nights and moderate days created the ideal conditions that led to a faster rate of ripening due to less stress on the vines. This allowed the fruit to stay in harmony. In addition, notes Winemaker, Adam Campbell, “the amazing summer weather led to the lowest disease pressure I have ever seen, creating a harvest that was the stuff dreams are made of – little rain, gorgeous fruit, and an easy tempo making for a relaxed and delightful crush”. These prolonged warm days and moderately cool nights with low heat stress led to ideal ripening.
Fruit quality, harmony and balance were key factors in the 2014 growing season. As fruit came in with incredible evenness and extraordinary concentration, 2014 will likely be a show stopping vintage. We remain true to our goals as wine growers – looking to capture the beautiful, complex flavors that are the signature of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and other cool-climate varietals.
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 13
- Harvest Sugars 24 brix
- pH 3.50
- Vatting Fermentation in small open top steel fermenters. 10 months in French oak.
“Bright and tangy, with lively acidity and powdery tannins that sidestep the rose petal-accented guava and strawberry flavors, lingering with precision.”
– Wine Spectator Magazine (August, 2016)
“A standout among the winery’s single-vineyard selections, this big-boned effort brings flavors of chewy cherry alongside a citrus highlight and a definite underpinning of wet stone and clay…”
– Wine Enthusiast Magazine (August, 2016)