2009 was a vintage of abundance. Ideal springtime weather led to a hot summer, which gave us a beautiful, uniform and potentially prolific crop. Warm temperatures at harvest time lulled some growers into picking late, at potentially high alcohols. The right decision, top winemakers agree, was to get the grapes in while they still had fresh flavors. As always, we showed our commitment to quality by thinning and green harvesting to achieve earlier ripening and better concentration of flavors. As winemaker, Adam Campbell, states “harvest went off without a hitch and we picked the grapes at a deliberate but frankly leisurely pace which allowed focusing on retained acidity.” So, vintage 2009 may be remembered as one of those rare combinations of excellent quality and quantity, with the wines showing flash.
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.
- Vine Age 31 years
- Yield 2.5 tons/acre
- Harvest Sugars 25-26 Brix
- pH 3.52
- Vatting Fermentation in small open top steel fermenters. 10 months in French oak.
- Cases Produced 530
92 Points “Vivid red. Sexy, expressive bouquet of raspberry and cherry-cola, potpourri and minerals, plus a touch of smokiness…”
– Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar (July 31, 2011)