2016 Goodrich Chardonnay
A fruity nose sets the stage with lemon meringue, baked pineapple and wafts of almond cookie and crème brulée. Generous yet streamlined, this wine has a rich, creamy mouthfeel of quince and toasted coconut accented by fresh lemon peel and baking spice.
“Lime leaf and honeysuckle with bright, fresh peaches and some bready notes. The palate has a supple and even-paced core of fresh pears and melon with a gently toasty edge to the finish. Drink now.”
– JamesSuckling.com (Nov 30, 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 Goodrich Vineyard in 2014. A 69 acre property planted with 21 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Goodrich sits just outside the town of Yamhill, Oregon in the heart of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Goodrich Vineyard was planted in 2007 with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in high-density a format. The property boasts the exact same marine sediment (Willakenzie) soil as our Mount Richmond property and lies just a few miles from our Estate Vineyard in Gaston. This young vineyard has great promise and we were so impressed by the quality of the fruit we decided to make a Single Vineyard Pinot Noir in our very first year of farming the site.
Our Chardonnay is hand picked then gently whole-cluster pressed to avoid bitterness. The juice is fermented in large puncheons and a mix of neutral and new oak barrels. We age in barrel for a full 12 months with some stirring on the lees after malolactic fermentation. This is our classic take on Chardonnay, one of the original varietals we planted in 1974 and grew for over 20 years. We’re happy to bring this varietal back to the Elk Cove family of wines.
Viticultural & Enological Data
- Vine Age 10 years
- Harvest Sugars 20.5 brix
- pH 3.4
- Vatting Fermentation and aging in oak puncheons and barrels for 12 months.
- Cases Produced 421