“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)
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.
Viticultural & Enological Data
- Vine Age 12, 20, 28
- Harvest Sugars 24 brix
- pH 3.47
- Vatting Fermentation in small open top steel fermentors. 10 months in 55% new French oak
- Cases Produced 192