2016 Five Mountain
“A nose of red raspberries, pomegranate, dried fig and violet introduces this smooth and juicy wine. Open on the palate, rich flavors of black cherry, brambleberry and cinnamon are complimented by silky tannins that melt into a seamless finish.”
“Bright ruby-red. Highly perfumed, mineral- and spice-tinged aromas of raspberry, cherry cola and incense are complemented by a suave floral nuance. Seamless and energetic on the palate, offering juicy red fruit liqueur, spicecake and rose pastille flavors…”
– Vinous (May, 2019)
Our 2016 Five Mountain Pinot Noir has been awarded a Gold Medal in the largest competition of American wines in the world!
– San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (2019)
“Supple and elegantly complex, with pretty raspberry and violet aromas and sleek cherry and orange peel flavors that glide on a long finish”
– Wine Spectator (October 15, 2018)
VINTAGE 2016 was a year of unusual weather that led to beautiful fruit at lower than average yields. In spring, an early heat spike meant a very condensed time frame for bloom. This gave us smaller than average berries and clusters and set us on the path for our third early harvest in a row. Thankfully, summer weather was cooler than average, which slowed down ripening and allowed flavor development to catch up to sugar accumulation. Due to our small initial crop estimates, we held off thinning until the last minute to delay ripening and add “hang-time”, an important factor in the development of complex flavors.
We were a little stunned when our first fruit hit the crush-pad in the last days of August, setting a record for our earliest harvest in 40 years. September and October brought relief from the heat with mild evenings and cool nights that allowed for slow, even ripening. We picked fruit that was absolutely pristine and perfectly ripe, at a gradual pace that allowed us to give our full attention to each block and work shorter hours than in a typical harvest season.
We are optimistic that 2016 will be an outstanding vintage, reminiscent of 2012 and 2014, with wines that show great balance and 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 rich, earthy Oregon Pinot Noir.
Viticultural & Enological Data
- Vine Age 19-38
- Harvest Sugars 24 brix
- pH 3.64
- Vatting 10 months in 22% new French Oak
- Cases Produced 747