Vintage 2010 brings to mind some catchy phrases. The year of the birds – Hitchcock style, let ‘em hang and our favorite, and slogan for the vintage – “Hang ‘10”! Yes, harvest was later than normal. An exceptionally cold, wet spring was followed by what many seasoned producers recall as one of the shortest summers. However, 2010 was not the worst of years. The ‘attack of our feathered friends,’ whose almost unprecedented assault on valley fruit, also indicated nature’s signal that the fruit was ripe and grapes good indeed. Winemaker, Adam Campbell, comments in response to vintage nervousness, “you know, we have been doing this for almost 40 years, and it’s not the first time we’ve had slow ripening. We’re optimistic about it and we know exactly what to do.” Even science agrees. Climatologists show similarities to the great 2008 vintage; reporting lower yields, small berries and full flavor development at lower brix levels – all signs pointing to high quality wines with lower alcohols.
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.