Vintage 2006 certainly has everyone offering up grand descriptions! “Everything ripened beautifully.” “This is a rarity.” “A warm, fully ripe vintage.” Fruit set was ideal with a mild Spring. Months that followed were warm and dry, with short-lived heat spikes and a few intermittent cooling rains in the fall, advancing fruit ripeness. Feelings abound in the valley that the 2006 vintage seems to be a combination of the 1999’s depth and the ripeness of 2003 (the only vintage warmer than 2006), but with better flavors and natural balance. The Pinot Noirs specifically seem to be very true to form with velvety tannins and a sexiness evocative of Pinot’s feminine side. Put this with softer, darker blue fruits that are more generous and it’s the makings of exceptional wines! In general, this vintage had us searching for negatives, finding only the six days of over 86 degrees in early harvest to fret over. But the results seem to be close to perfect!
Elk Cove has produced single vineyard pinots from this beautiful hillside vineyard in Banks, Oregon since 1979. Wind Hill Vineyard was planted near the Hartwick Resevoir in 1974 by the Reese family, Oregon winegrowing pioneers, and was purchased by Elk Cove in 1996. South-facing slopes, volcanic soils, mid-level elevation (500 feet) and low yields make Wind Hill a superior vineyard site. We have farmed this vineyard using completely organic practices since 1999. Our Wind Hill Pinot Noir is produced from 4 acres of the oldest Pommard clone Pinot Noir vines on the property.
All of Elk Cove’s delicate Pinot Noir fruit undergoes the same gentle handling through our gravity flow system. This allows us to achieve the elegance, texture and luscious quality that are the hallmarks of exquisite Pinot Noir.
We produce this single vineyard wine using only pommard clone Pinot Noir grapes from our Wind Hill Vineyard. The wine is fermented in small, temperature controlled steel tanks, hand punched down twice daily then aged for ten months in 50% new French oak. Finally, our winemaking team blends only those barrels most representative of the spicy character and herbal tones of Wind Hill’s classic pinot noir fruit.