There is a quiet kind of excitement in the Willamette Valley after harvest 2008. Phrases and cliches keep rolling on such as classic cool climate, vintage conditions that are only dreamt of, potential to show the best of what Oregon has to offer. Add to this, repeated references to perhaps one of Oregon’s best vintages, 1999 and understandably many in the valley are smiling. Oregon’s 2008 growing season started late, with bud break on average ten days to two weeks behind schedule and followed with a relatively cool growing season. Thoughts of the recent wet and cool harvest of 2007 had many aggressively thin vineyards to concentrate fruit and speed up ripening and ward off disease pressure. Yet as in 1999, a beautiful Oregon autumn saved the day! Fall was spectacular with sunny days and cold nights laying the foundation to produce extraordinary wines.
The fruit for this all Pinot Noir Rosé is hand-harvested from Elk Cove’s estate vineyards. For the Rosé, we choose both young and old vines from higher elevation vineyards on their own rootstock. These give us the full flavor development and aromatics needed for a fresh white wine, within a framework of lower alcohol.
Pinot Noir fruit for our Rosé is hand-harvested very ripe and gently whole bunch pressed with limited skin crushing, which makes virtually a “white Pinot Noir”. The wine is fermented cool in stainless steel tanks. Then carefully selected lots of fermented red Pinot Noir juice is blended back for color and texture. Our Pinot Noir Rosé is finished completely dry.