“The 2021 Pinot Noir Reserve is a barrel selection from several of Elk Cove’s vineyards. It has a medium ruby-purple color and savory aromas of red and black cherries, aniseed, pipe tobacco, flint and Christmas spice, continuing to unfurl aromatically as it airs in the glass. The light-bodied palate is chalky and refreshing with fragrant fruit and a long, latent finish. It feels particularly coiled and will benefit from 3-5 years in bottle.”
– Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (May 2023)
“The Reserve is composed of the nine best barrels from Elk Cove’s estate plantings. It will require decanting in the short run and patience in the long run. Beautiful boysenberry, tangerine and anise-laced Thai basil aromas lead to flavors like tangy cranberry, raspberry and cinnamon. Drink 2025–2038. Cellar Selection.”
– Wine Enthusiast (February 2024)
“Plush and elegantly built, with dynamic raspberry and cranberry flavors highlighted by notes of green tea and orange peel as this zips along the vibrant finish. Drink now through 2032. 396 cases made.”
– Wine Spectator (January 2024)
“Another outstanding Pinot Noir from Elk Cove, this time the 2021 Reserve, which was aged for 10 months in 55% new French oak and is only made in exceptional years. Only the finest barrels were selected for this wine, and it shows. A shimmering medium neon ruby core with a lighter pink rim, it offers up aromas and flavors of black cherries, wild blueberries, sweet toasted cinnamon, cedary herbs, dusty road, and shares of wet earth. Sweet, rounded tannins and perfected levels of acidity complete the wine. Give this one another year or two in the bottle, and you will be richly rewarded. Highly recommended and editor’s choice.”
– International Wine Report (January 2024)
“The Reserve represents a barrel selection that varies each vintage. In 2021, the blend included Roosevelt, Clay Court, Goodrich, La Bohème and Mount Richmond barrels. Aromas of smoky violets and turned earth unravel this intense Pinot Noir, which needs time in the glass and the bottle to reveal itself. Juicy brambleberry fruits colour the palate alongside savoury dill, red currant and sappy Montmorency cherries. There is ample lift to brighten the dense core of the fruit.”
– Decanter (October, 2023)
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.
VINEYARD: Our winemaking team considers barrels from all of our estate plantings to make the Reserve our very best Pinot Noir. In 2021, the final blend included two barrels from our Clay Court Vineyard, three from our Winery Estate (Roosevelt Vineyard) and four from our Mount Richmond West Vineyard.
WINEMAKING: We only make a Reserve in exceptional years, selecting less than 1% of our Pinot Noir to make the best wine we can imagine, balancing diverse components from our best vineyard blocks. Our Reserve is both big and structured, designed to improve with cellaring for 20+ years.
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