2003 was an incredibly warm year in Oregon, which meant great physiological ripeness for the grapes. (This was particularly true for our higher elevation, own-rooted sites.) A very long growing season also gave balance and acidity to the sweetness seen in the grapes at harvest. All of Elk Cove Vineyards’ 2003 Pinot Noirs will be full, juicy, balanced wiJune 17, 2006e will bring out additional nuances not to be missed with a little patience.
Steep hillside farming, high quality plant material, low yields, and hand-harvesting all contribute to the quality of Elk Cove’s estate-owned vineyards. We do around 12 passes per year of contact with each vine including multiple rounds of thinning to ensure perfectly ripe fruit from our cool climate.
Our Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is made with fruit from all five of our vineyard sites: Estate, Mount Richmond, Five Mountain, Clay Court and Wind Hill. We also purchase a small amount of select fruit from other producers who are longtime friends of Elk Cove. These sites are comprised of both Pommard and Dijon plant material, with multiple clones represented.
Because we draw from multiple vineyards representing all three of the major Willamette Valley soil types, we are able to pick and choose for different flavor components to make the best possible blend each year for our Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Some people call this making wine “spice rack style”, we usually just call it delicious. Our goal is the perfect version of what we believe a Willamette Valley Pinot should be, a wine with freshness of fruit, well-integrated alcohol, and great concentration of flavor.
All of Elk Cove’s delicate Pinot Noir fruit undergoes the same gentle handling through our gravity flow system. This systems allows us to achieve the elegance, texture and luscious quality that are the hallmarks of exquisite Pinot Noir.
To make our Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, fruit from each vineyard block is fermented separately in small, temperature controlled steel tanks, hand punched down twice daily, and barreled in 20% new french oak barrels. After 10 months of aging in 20% new oak, the wine we choose for the Willamette Valley Pinot is carefully blended to produce the most approachable, well-balanced Pinot Noir we make.
- Vine Age 5-30 years
- Yield 1.8 tons/acre
- Harvest Sugars 23.5-25.5 Brix
- pH 3.7
- Vatting Fermentation in small open top steel fermenters. 10 months in French oak.
- Cases Produced 9,000
89 Points. “A bit firmer than most, but the cherry, currant and spice flavors keep pouring out as the finish lingers beautifully.”
– Wine Spectator (June 15, 2005)
– Wine Enthusiast (July 31, 2005)
3 Star Award. “Soft, open and wonderfully accessible…”
– The Seattle Times (April 29, 2005)
“You could pull this out with almost any food… consistently a good party wine.”
– Sunset Magazine (January 31, 2006)
91 Points: Smart Buy! “Fruity and delicious…”
– Pinot Report (November 30, 2005)