2012 Pinot Gris Willamette Valley
The 2012 Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Gris has sweet and unctuous aromatics while showing crispness on the palate with vibrant citrus and grapefruit. True to Elk Cove Vineyards’ style, a rich mouthfeel leads to a full and satisfying balanced finish. Drink this lovely white wine as an aperitif or with a variety of food pairings from salmon and main-course salads to Asian and Thai influenced dishes.
Vintage 2012 will go down as one of the finest in Oregon history in terms of quality of the raw materials. Mother Nature really smiled on us with not only a rain-free harvest season but perhaps more importantly with tiny berries and clusters. The small fruit size allowed us to effortlessly and gently extract the concentrated fruit and ripe tannins of the perfectly ripe grapes. Those beautifully small clusters and berries were lighter than normal, so yields were down and these wines will likely sell out at a brisker than usual pace.
According to owner/winemaker Adam Campbell “The wines from 2012 remind me and my folks of classic vintages like 1998 and 1994. Small clusters and berries give us an amazing skin-to-juice ratio, allowing us to be incredibly gentle through fermentation and still come up with powerful concentration and ripeness of fruit. It’s also great that 2012 wasn’t a super hot vintage, so we were able to produce very ripe but varietally correct wines with freshness of fruit and lower alcohols, most in the 13% range”.
Early reviews of the 2012 vintage use descriptors like “Stunning”, “Amazing” & “Epic” making Oregon winemakers giddy that 2012 could go down as the best vintage in our 50 year winemaking history.
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 12-27 years
- Yield 2.15 tons/acre
- Harvest Sugars 23 Brix
- pH 3.08
- Vatting Whole-cluster pressed and cold fermented in small stainless steel tanks.
- Cases Produced 14,961
“Light and sleek, with a satiny texture to the pear and floral flavors, lingering deftly and intently…”
– Wine Spectator (Smart Buys, September 2013)
2012 Pinot Gris: “Mouthwatering and brisk, this succulent gris has the scent of apple blossoms, its flavors giving the impression of a slice of crisp apple spritzed with lemon. A summer refresher, or a good pairing with petrale sole.”
– Wine & Spirits (August 1, 2013)