2015 La Bohème
Enticing and complex, a nose of violets, raspberry, and fresh forest floor mingle with a hint of vanilla. Elegant structure and silky tannins provide the stage for overlapping flavors of cranberry, leather, cola, sweet cinnamon and pink peppercorn.
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.
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 29% 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 14-29 years
- Harvest Sugars 23.8 brix
- pH 3.58
- Vatting Fermentation in small open top steel fermentors. 10 months in 29% new French Oak
- Cases Produced 759
“…leaps from the glass with notes of ripe red currants, black cherries and violets plus nuances of fertile soil, mossy bark and cloves. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers a generous amount of ripe, rich fruit with velvety tannins and soft, approachable acidity, finishing with fruity layers…”
– Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (August 31, 2017)
“Bright red. Highly perfumed red berry, cherry cola and floral scents, along with a smoky mineral flourish that builds in the glass. Sweet and energetic on the palate, offering raspberry, spicecake and smoky mineral flavors…”
– Vinous (January, 2015)
“Dark bright-rimmed red. Ripe blackberry, cherry, licorice and pungent floral scents show very good lift and clarity. Supple, open-knit and appealingly sweet, offering concentrated dark berry and violet pastille flavors that are given spicy bite by a white pepper nuance…”
– Vinous (January, 2015)
“The nose is licorice and spice over a generous dark cherry firmness. The palate is full bodied on entry centered on a core of black plum and cranberry richness…”
– Purely Domestic Wine Report, Vol 6.3, Nov. 2017