Happily, 2004 has the potential to be an excellent vintage! Though production will be limited because yields were down by 20-50%. Around the state we experienced a phenomenon the French call coulure ~ unsettled weather during flowering, resulting in poor fruit set. This cold Spring weather naturally lowered crop sizes and then early Fall rains challenged picking. Yet, low yields do not indicate a loss of quality and extended warmth in late September produced healthy, balanced, and concentrated fruit. In addition, Elk Cove manages some of the highest elevation sites in the state, which typically results in an extended harvest. Late September’s warmth extended harvest into late October, and ensured grapes of true maturity, offering the potential for ripeness and complexity without exaggerated alcohol levels. Fans of more elegant Pinot Noir will be pleased. Winemaker Adam Godlee Campbell reports “we have loose clusters and more concentrated flavors. This is a good year for us.” 2004 promises to be a long-lived vintage with beautiful wines!
We planted La Bohème Vineyard in 1985 by selecting the very best vines from our original Estate Pommard plantings. Pat and Joe Campbell named the vineyard after the family who sold them the property – and their favorite Puccini opera. This picturesque vineyard overlooks the winery and the coast range mountains and rises to 800 feet, making it one of the highest elevation vineyard sites in the Willamette Valley. La Bohème was planted using cuttings from vines selected for small cluster size and intense flavors, hallmarks of the world’s finest Pinot Noirs. We prune and cluster-thin La Bohème heavily to limit yields and to maximize ripening and flavor concentration.
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 the La Bohème vineyard is fermented in small, temperature controlled steel tanks, hand punched down twice daily then aged for ten months in 50% new French oak. Our winemaking team then selects the very best barrels to represent the silky, lush flavor profile that exemplifies La Bohème pinot noir.
- Vine Age 19 years
- Yield 1.8 tons/acre
- Harvest Sugars 25.3 Brix
- pH 3.75
- Vatting Fermentation in small open top steel fermenters. 10 months in French oak.
- Cases Produced 1,382 Six-Bottle Cases
88 Points “Firm in texture, with chewy tannins around a lively core of blackberry and black pepper flavors…”
– Wine Spectator (November 30, 2006)
86 Points “…Displays a very nice interplay of supple texture and tangy fruit…”
– Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar (April 30, 2006)