2015 Five Mountain
Blue flowers, clove, strawberry compote and a touch of citrus make up a vivid and rich nose. The palate unfolds with deep tones of black currant, cola and leather, while contrasting flavors of strawberries and cream, fresh thyme and pepper keep this wine complex and exciting.
VINTAGE 2015 brought ideal conditions, leading to generous yields and exceptionally concentrated fruit. An early spring and clear weather led to a solid bloom that was three weeks early. Thinning is such an important tool for us to influence the course of ripening, and due to large initial cropsets, one we fully utilized in 2015. We thinned in early summer at our higher elevation sites, but waited until veraison to thin our lower elevation sites to slow down ripening and add “hang-time,” an important factor in the development of complex flavors in Pinot Noir.
Harvest 2015 was the earliest on record for the Northern Willamette Valley and we were a little stunned when our first fruit hit the crushpad on September 8th. Autumn brought relief from the heat with mild evenings and cool rainless nights that allowed for slow, even ripening. We harvested fruit that was absolutely pristine and perfectly ripe, at a gradual pace that allowed us to give our full attention to each block.
We are hopeful that 2015 is equally as good as the spectacular 2012 and 2014 vintages, and early signs indicate just that, with the wines showing moderate alcohols, balanced acids and great concentration.
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 23% 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 18-37
- Harvest Sugars 24.5
- pH 3.57
- Vatting 10 months in 23% new French Oak
- Cases Produced 744.5
“…delicately scented of cranberries and raspberry leaves with hints of black pepper, rose hips and fallen leaves. The Medium-bodied palate offers a solid frame of firm tannins and just enough freshness to lift the elegant, earthy flavors…”
– Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (August 31, 2017)
“Fresh strawberry, blood orange and succulent herb flavors are sharpened by a chalky mineral quality that builds as the wine opens up. Vibrant red berry and bitter cherry flavors show very good clarity, silky, seamless texture and a sweetening touch of mocha…”
– Vinous (January, 2015)
“The nose is dark cherry, black raspberry with shadings of black pepper and earth. The palate is a ripe blackberry that fills out the core accented by notes of mint and textured, waxy black cherry…”
– Purely Domestic Wine Report, Vol 6.3, Nov. 2017