2013 Pinot Gris Willamette Valley
Tangerine and pineapple on the nose, this wine gives a punch of fresh peach, ripe pear and a hint of anise on the palate. With a mouth-coating viscocity and a lush lingering finish, this is a serious white wine.
Vintage 2013 had both the merits and the challenges of our cool climate. Wet weather during bloom led to low yields, requiring minimal thinning. A warm, dry summer followed, with a long season ideal for developing delicate flavors and concentration.
Adam’s mantra of great winemaking “starting in the vineyard” rang true – each day he checked multiple weather reports and walked the vineyards, tasting and testing juice for flavor development and brix. The goal: carefully time picking to avoid dilution, splitting and rot, while achieving optimum physiological ripeness. Although Tropical Storm Pabuk broke 100-year rainfall records in late September, it had a minimal effect on fruit quality with less than 1/3 of our fruit coming in that week.
We don’t grow grapes here because it’s easy, but because of the beautiful, complex flavors we get from our Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and other cool-climate varietals. 2013 will likely be a year that gets mixed reviews, with comparisons to 2010 and 2011. Those in the know rely on these vintages for beautiful elegance, great freshness and amazing longevity.
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 3-28 years
- Yield 2.5 tons/acre
- Harvest Sugars 22.5 brix
- pH 3.12
- Vatting Whole-cluster pressed and cold fermented in small stainless steel tanks.
- Cases Produced 17,000
“This full-bodied, lightly spiced wine seduces with fresh fruit flavors of pear, apple, kiwi and melon…”
– Wine Enthusiast (October, 2014)
“The palate is bursting with flavors of orchard fruit and minerality, all backed with crisp, mouthwatering acidity. A stunning wine”
– Wine Press Northwest (Summer 2014)