2015 Pinot Gris Willamette Valley
Current Release

Greets you from the glass with big aromatics of nectarine and Honeycrisp apple alongside ethereal notes of guava and cherry blossom. A vibrant acidity lends freshness to a sweet ambrosia salad of ripe pear and mouth-watering ruby red grapefruit. Ends richly with fine-spun notes of spice cake and candied ginger.

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.

Our Pinot Gris is hand-harvested from select hillside vineyards in the northern Willamete Valley.  Pinot Gris has long been a focus at Elk Cove – our Estate Vineyard boasts some of the oldest Pinot Gris vines in Oregon, dating back to 1985.  Three of our other estate vineyard sites are also planted with Pinot Gris, including 50 acres on steep sloped Mount Richmond Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Planted in a high-density format, all our Pinot Gris undergoes shoot and crop thinning for low yields to maximize quality and concentration.

The Willamette Valley has the perfect climate for this delicate cool weather white wine.  We have enough sunlight and warmth for ripening, but our cool evenings help retain varietal character and prevent over-ripening. We whole-cluster press our pinot gris grapes, then ferment the juice at very cool temperatures in small stainless steel tanks.  This gentle treatment protects the aromatic qualities and enhances the natural richness of the Pinot Gris grapes, creating our most popular white wine.

  • Vine Age
    3-30 years
  • Harvest Sugars
    23 brix
  • pH
    3.14
  • Vatting
    Whole-cluster pressed and cold fermented in small stainless steel tanks.

Accolades

90 Points and Smart Buy in Wine Spectator

“Vivid and expansive, with tangy pear and cantaloupe flavors that play against hints of lime, finishing with polish.” – Harvey Steiman
Wine Spectator Advance (October 31, 2016 preview)

100 Top Values of 2016

Our Pinot Gris has long been a favorite on lists of highly rated yet affordable white wines. We’re extra proud to see this wine represent Oregon in the category of Rich Whites, a category dominated by old world wines.
winespectator.com

91 Points and "Editor's Choice" in Wine Enthusiast

“One of Oregon’s finest values in Pinot Gris, this offers big, juicy flavors of luscious apple and pear, backed with punchy citrus. The ample acidity tastes of lemon and grapefruit, and a notable wash of minerality…”
Wine Enthusiast Magazine (August, 2016)