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2022 Mount Richmond Chardonnay

New Release!

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Vintage

In VINTAGE 2022 Mother Nature kept us on our toes with unusual weather at each end of the growing season. A wet, cold spring led into a long, temperate summer followed by a very sunny fall that brought us much-needed ripening.

What a surprise to have snowfall on April 11th, our region’s latest significant snow since 1942! Most of our vines had not yet leafed out and their tight woolly buds were well-protected. However, frost damage did mean a smaller crop at our Clay Court Vineyard. Other vineyard sites set a healthy crop, which we thinned heavily to increase intensity and encourage ripening. August and September were unseasonably warm, but the nights remained cool, helping us retain varietal character. Worries of late-season botrytis (rot) meant extra passes of hand-work in the vineyard pulling leaves to improve sunlight penetration and airflow. Thankfully, October welcomed a long string of sunny days and just exactly the hang-time and ripening we needed to bring grape sugar (brix) to ideal levels.

Harvest began in late September, with most fruit harvested during two very intense mid-October weeks. Many of our blocks achieved peak ripeness at the same time, so we are very thankful for our incredible crew for all of the early morning picking sessions in the vineyard and long days in the cellar. Expect complex, fruit-forward wines from this vintage.

Vineyard

Mount Richmond Vineyard sits on Willakenzie soils in the heart of the Yamhill Carlton AVA. The site was purchased in 1996 as a partnership between winemaker Adam Campbell, his wife Carrie, and Elk Cove founders Pat and Joe Campbell.

The motivation for planting Mount Richmond was to emulate the wine quality from sites such as our esteemed Roosevelt vineyard. The vineyard now holds the honor as the largest vineyard holding of Elk Cove, totaling over 200 planted acres.

Mount Richmond sits at 300-500 feet elevation, lower than the vineyards planted at the winery, which allows for earlier ripening. Planted in a high-density format (2100 vines/acre), similar to Roosevelt, Mount Richmond sits on rolling hills just outside the town of Yamhill to the east of the Coast Range Mountains. In addition to Pinot Noir, starting in 2015 we planted three Dijon clones of Chardonnay on its lower south-facing slopes.

Winemaking

Our Chardonnay is hand-picked then gently whole-cluster pressed to avoid bitterness. The juice is fermented in large puncheons, a mix of neutral and new oak barrels and concrete eggs. We age this wine 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 before grafting our vines over to Pinot Gris. We came back to Chardonnay in 2014 with the purchase of our Goodrich Vineyard, adding our own plantings of Dijon Chardonnay clones 548, 809 and 76 at Mount Richmond in subsequent years.

Viticultural & Enological Data

  • Vatting Fermentation and aging in oak puncheons and concrete eggs for 12 months.