2020 Pinot Blanc


Wafts of lemon curd, petrichor and ginger give way to a bright, juicy palate of ripe pear, apricot  and peach pit ending in a precise, somewhat saline finish of lime-peel and river rock.


90 Points

“This cool climate wine is tart and pungent and has a touch of the flavor of Sauvignon Blanc, with that same piercing green pepper note. Not that it isn’t sufficiently ripe; it is, and also brings crisp apple and green melon fruit along with some lip-smacking acidity.”

Wine Enthusiast (August, 2020)


VINTAGE 2020 was a challenging vintage with nicely concentrated wines. The COVID-19 outbreak brought labor and safety challenges that we overcame in step with increased seasonal demands in the vineyard and cellar. Luckily our vines are 6 feet apart and well suited for social-distancing, but creative solutions saved the day – we even recruited our sales team for our harvest crew.

Cool, wet conditions in spring led to a 25% lighter than average fruit set with small clusters and berries, ideal conditions for flavor intensity. Summer brought steady heat and cool nights, increasing our expectations for a fantastic vintage across the board here in the Willamette Valley. Then, in August and September, Oregon experienced one of its worst wildfire seasons in history, bringing with it worries of smoke-affected fruit. Ripening slowed until the winds shifted eastward and the skies cleared in mid-September.

The silver lining for Elk Cove is that our vines are located in the northwest corner of the Willamette Valley, where smoke effects were minimal. We will not release any wines that exhibit smoke taint, and have aggressively tested for it. We sent a great many samples to the laboratory in 2020. We’re confident that we made some fantastic wines from intensely concentrated fruit.


The fruit for this Pinot Blanc is all hand-harvested from our own  hillside vineyards, including our Five Mountain, Mount Richmond and Estate Vineyards.


The Willamette Valley has an ideal climate for Pinot Blanc, a delicate grape variety – enough sunlight and warmth for ripening, with cooler night temperatures that help retain varietal character.  To preserve the freshness, our Pinot Blanc is whole-cluster pressed then fermented at very cool temperatures in small stainless steel tanks, all of which accentuates aromatics and enhances the richness and viscosity of the wine.


Viticultural & Enological Data

  • Vine Age 5-27 Years
  • Harvest Sugars 22.9
  • pH 3.08
  • Vatting Whole-cluster pressed and cold fermented in small stainless steel tanks.

Food Pairing

Adam’s Crab Cakes

It’s our post-harvest tradition to rent a boat and go crabbing at Kelly’s Marina. While we don’t always make it to the coast to go crabbing ourselves, sitting around the table shelling cooked crab from the fishmonger is also a great way to catch up while anticipating the great meal ahead, usually while savoring a glass of what we in the Campbell family call “cooking wine” (wine poured for the cooks). Dungeness crab season in Oregon runs from December to August.

These crab cakes pair beautifully with our Pinot Blanc. Cheers and bon appétit!

Adam holding Dungeness crab


For the cakes:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 large egg
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
3 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
4 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
4 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
ground black pepper to taste
1 pound cooked blue or Dungeness crabmeat
2 cups panko bread crumbs (divided)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the Skillet:
2 tablespoons (or more) butter
2 tablespoons (or more) olive oil or grapeseed oil

For the salad:
salad greens of your choice
3tbs olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dijon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

serve with crusty bread & hot sauce

In a large bowl, whisk ingredients the first 10 ingredients together. Mix in crabmeat, and break it up into a rough, chunky texture while feeling with your hands for any remaining pieces of shell. In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup panko with the cayenne then fold into crab mixture. Let stand while panko soaks up the liquid from the crab mixture. Place the remaining panko in a flat bottomed bowl or tray. Form crab into patties about 2.5 inches in diameter (about 12) then press both sides of patties into the panko. Chill the formed patties for 1 to 4 hours in the fridge.

To fry, add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook crab cakes on both sides for about 4-5 minutes until they are browned, adding oil as needed to the skillet.

Make a vinaigrette with any remaining herbs, tossing lightly into your greens and serving alongside your favorite crusty bread. Season if desired with lemon wedges and Louisiana-style hot sauce – Crystal is our favorite but Tabasco or Texas Pete work equally well. Cheers!


Pinot Blanc