Other Vintages
  • 2021

2021 Old School

Generously spiced on the nose with plum, vanilla bean, bergamot, star anise and violet, this spicy wine is balanced by loads of sweet blue fruit with pomegranate, pithy apple peel and notes of candied persimmon offering a foil to the rustic tannins and soft cedar finish.

Review this wine


VINTAGE 2021 was an outstanding year at Elk Cove. Cool weather during bloom and moderate temperatures during most of the growing season brought forth an ample harvest of intensely concentrated fruit.

The timing of weather events was key to our success in 2021. Rainfall during bloom raised expectations for a small, high-quality crop. Then a once-in-a millennium heat dome event brought worrying temperatures to the Pacific Northwest. This was thankfully during the most resilient stage of the growing season and our old vines survived without signs of serious stress or sunburn. Growth resumed normally once temperatures cooled with average heat from July through September bringing even ripening to the plentiful small, loose clusters. Our vines made it through the rain and the heat in fine condition with lots of variable-sized berries, known as hens and chicks.

Harvest 2021 was not only of high quality but also surprisingly bountiful. Low levels of dehydration combined with the numerous small clusters and several acres of young vines coming into maturity meant a record tonnage for Elk Cove. For red Pinot Noirs, expect intense color and flavors bursting out of the glass, while white wines and rosés are fruit-forward with great acidity and balance.


Lots of Pinot Noir are selected for this wine based on the ripeness of the stems. We evaluate stem ripeness by watching for lignification, the transition from a green stem to a woody brown stem. When ripe, stems impart spice and structure and intensify fruit-forward aromatics.

Clay Court 66%, La Boheme 22%, and Five Mountain 12%


Old School refers to the old way of doing things. Elk Cove co-founder Joe Campbell made many whole-cluster wines in the 1970s and 1980s, before we had a really good destemmer. Adam has recently adopted this “old school” method for some of our riper lots, notably Goodrich, but this Old School wine has an even greater percentage of whole-cluster Pinot Noir.

22% New Oak

66% whole cluster

Viticultural & Enological Data

  • Vine Age 9-42
  • Harvest Sugars 24
  • pH 3.49