Vintage 2007 is one that will certainly be discussed. Some say it’s a grower’s year, where meticulous thinning, canopy management and spray routines helped the fruit left hanging on the vine. Others maintain this is a winemaker’s year, where the most experienced and agile artists will be able to take the fruit given by Mother Nature and craft some outstanding wines. All agree that it brought some challenges, yet with the rain reminiscent of 2005 and much less than the last really rainy harvest of 1997, most in the valley know how to adapt; taking advantage of this year’s attributes such as lower sugars (lower alcohols) and higher acids. We love the classic cool Oregon climate in this year, which should give us more finesse rather than extraction and possibly even better ageability. This vintage will have stellar wines, just perhaps with more variability.
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 6-34 years
- Yield 2.5 tons/acre
- Harvest Sugars 22.5-23.9 Brix
- pH 3.78
- Vatting Fermentation in small open top steel fermenters. 10 months in French oak.
- Cases Produced 19,750
– Wine Press Northwest (December 15, 2009)
“…Elk Cove’s 2007 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ranked #24.”
– Wine & Spirits (April 1, 2009)
“… Medium ruby-colored, it offers up a pleasing perfume of smoke, spice box, cherry and cranberry…”
– Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (October 31, 2009)
“Value Picks. Among Elk Cove’s Pinots, this has a warm, round approachability that makes it immediately appealing…”
– Oregon Wine Press (November 15, 2009)