2011 Five Mountain

This is a rustic wine – “sauvage” is a common description. Violets and five-spice on the nose, with bittersweet chocolate and dark fruit on the palate.  The 2011 Five Mountain is a structured, powerful wine reminiscent of whole-cluster style old-world pinots.


In 2011, sunny spring weather brought good fruit-set and large, compact clusters at Elk Cove.  After a cool summer, late-season sun allowed the fruit to hang for 15 additional days compared to 2010.  The fruit developed fantastic flavors with great pH and acid balance.  Even after multiple rounds of thinning, yields were up in 2011 because of the great fruit-set and relatively few migratory birds consuming the crops.  According to Elk Cove winemaker Adam Campbell  “In 2011 we were still bringing in white wine grapes in early November.  Although I expected more herbal notes in the wines due to the overall cool growing season, the wines came out of fermentation showing the classic flavors we love.”  Vintage 2011 reminded Oregon winegrowers that patience is often richly rewarded in the wines.


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.

Viticultural & Enological Data

  • Vine Age 33 years
  • Yield 1.75 tons/acre
  • Harvest Sugars 23 Brix
  • pH 3.64
  • Vatting 10 months in 50% new French Oak
  • Cases Produced 398