2013 Five Mountain
Crushed strawberries and Bing cherries on the nose, with hints of white pepper and vanilla bean. Opens to a densely layered and savory palate of ripe red pears, black currants and mouth-watering peach pie, the juicy palate finishes with lightly charred tannins evocative of cinnamon and cocoa powder.
Vintage 2013 had both the merits and the challenges of our cool climate. Wet weather during bloom led to low yields, requiring minimal thinning. A warm, dry summer followed, with a long season ideal for developing delicate flavors and concentration.
Adam’s mantra of great winemaking “starting in the vineyard” rang true – each day he checked multiple weather reports and walked the vineyards, tasting and testing juice for flavor development and brix. The goal: carefully time picking to avoid dilution, splitting and rot, while achieving optimum physiological ripeness. Although Tropical Storm Pabuk broke 100-year rainfall records in late September, it had a minimal effect on fruit quality with less than 1/3 of our fruit coming in that week.
We don’t grow grapes here because it’s easy, but because of the beautiful, complex flavors we get from our Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and other cool-climate varietals. 2013 will likely be a year that gets mixed reviews, with comparisons to 2010 and 2011. Those in the know rely on these vintages for beautiful elegance, great freshness and amazing longevity.
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, 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 19-34
- Harvest Sugars 23.5
- pH 3.57
- Vatting 10 months in 50% new French Oak
- Cases Produced 355
“A little tight with berry and light milk-chocolate character. Lacks a little intensity but a firm and polished wine. Outstanding…”
– JamesSuckling.com (November 2, 2016)
San Francisco based Wine and Spirits Magazine tasted more than 1,140 Pinot Noirs in 2015. Of those, only 149 received a score high enough to make their Year’s Best U.S. Pinot Noirs…
– Wine & Spirits (April, 2016)
“this savory red starts off dark and turfy. With air, a dark cherry core of flavor takes hold, lent focus and flavor by stony, mineral tannins…”
– Wine & Spirits (February, 2016)
“This is a solid, sharply defined, taut wine with a refined core of cherry fruit. The through-line is straight and true, finishing with a lick of citrus…”
– Wine Enthusiast Magazine (February, 2016)