2005 was an interesting year, with one of the driest winters and wettest springs on record! And unlike recent vintages that brought warmer weather, early ripeness and higher alcohol, this year’s harvest occurred later than most expected, resulting in cooler temperatures that will lead to lower alcohol levels, structured acidity and ideal flavor development. Vintage 2005 in the Willamette Valley will be a return to finesse and elegance, which has long characterized classic Oregon wines. Winemaker Adam Godlee Campbell states, “these are not the big block buster pinots of 2003. Instead they are pretty, food-friendly wines with great aging potential, showing a purity of fruit.”
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 7-32 years
- Yield 1.9 tons/acre
- Harvest Sugars 21.5-24 Brix
- pH 3.71
- Vatting Fermentation in small open top steel fermenters. 10 months in French oak.
- Cases Produced 11,587
90 Points “Good winemaking is evident here…”
– Wine Enthusiast (March 31, 2007)
Two Clusters. “…Juicy on the tongue, with hearty cherry and berry flavors backed by mouthwatering acidity, this lively wine offers plenty of punch….”
– Northwest Palate (February 28, 2007)
– Hilton Head Food & Wine Festival (January 31, 2007)