Vintage 2007 is one that will certainly be discussed. Some say it’s a grower’s year, where meticulous thinning, canopy management and spray routines helped the fruit left hanging on the vine. Others maintain this is a winemaker’s year, where the most experienced and agile artists will be able to take the fruit given by Mother Nature and craft some outstanding wines. All agree that it brought some challenges, yet with the rain reminiscent of 2005 and much less than the last really rainy harvest of 1997, most in the valley know how to adapt; taking advantage of this year’s attributes such as lower sugars (lower alcohols) and higher acids. We love the classic cool Oregon climate in this year, which should give us more finesse rather than extraction and possibly even better ageability. This vintage will have stellar wines, just perhaps with more variability.
Elk Cove Vineyards purchased Five Mountain Vineyard in 2005 after leasing the site for several years. Previously it was exclusively used in our Willamette Valley blend, but after taking full control of the vineyard we have found certain lots worthy of Single Vineyard status.
This historic vineyard was planted in 1978 by the Ponzi family. The original 4.2 acres of old vines are comprised of Pommard clone and the entire vineyard is set on a steep southeast slope in the Chehalem Mountains AVA, overlooking “five mountains” in the Cascade Range most widely seen from the Willamette Valley. This vineyard was an important element in the early Ponzi Reserve Pinots and has also been a Single Vineyard selection from a number of premier Oregon wineries over the years.
Five Mountain is now sustainably farmed by Elk Cove Vineyards and comprises a total of 30 acres including the original old vine Pommard Pinot Noir, younger Dijon Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Muscat, Gewurztraminer and Riesling.
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.
Fruit from Five Mountain is fermented in small, temperature controlled steel tanks, hand punched down twice daily, and barreled in 40% new French oak barrels. After 10 months of aging, only the barrels that are most representative of the Five Mountain profile are carefully blended to create a big, luscious Oregon Pinot Noir.