2020 Riesling

Aromas of citrus blossom, apricot, and lemongrass lead into a crisp and lively palate of key lime pie and green apple complemented by rounded notes of wet stone and candied ginger and a lime-peel finish.

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Vintage

VINTAGE 2020 was a challenging vintage with nicely concentrated wines. The COVID-19 outbreak brought labor and safety challenges that we overcame in step with increased seasonal demands in the vineyard and cellar. Luckily our vines are 6 feet apart and well suited for social-distancing, but creative solutions saved the day – we even recruited our sales team for our harvest crew.

Cool, wet conditions in spring led to a 25% lighter than average fruit set with small clusters and berries, ideal conditions for flavor intensity. Summer brought steady heat and cool nights, increasing our expectations for a fantastic vintage across the board here in the Willamette Valley. Then, in August and September, Oregon experienced one of its worst wildfire seasons in history, bringing with it worries of smoke-affected fruit. Ripening slowed until the winds shifted eastward and the skies cleared in mid-September.

The silver lining for Elk Cove is that our vines are located in the northwest corner of the Willamette Valley, where smoke effects were minimal. We will not release any wines that exhibit smoke taint, and have aggressively tested for it. We sent a great many samples to the laboratory in 2020. We’re confident that we made some fantastic wines from intensely concentrated fruit.

Vineyard

Our Riesling Estate is made from hand-picked fruit from three of our estate vineyards: Elk Cove Estate, Five Mountain and Windhill. Our Riesling vines are some of the oldest in Oregon, with our Estate and Windhill vines dating back to 1975. These older vines give us fruit with a delightful complexity not often seen in domestic Rieslings.

Winemaking

We have the perfect climate for this delicate cool weather white wine – there’s enough sunlight and warmth for ripening, but our cool evenings help us retain the delicate varietal character. We whole-cluster press our Riesling grapes, then ferment the juice at very cool temperatures in small stainless steel tanks, producing an aromatic, crisp Riesling with a beautiful acid profile.

Viticultural & Enological Data

  • Vine Age 13,45 years
  • Harvest Sugars 22.7 brix
  • pH 2.77
  • Vatting Whole-cluster pressed and cold fermented in small stainless steel tanks.
  • Cases Produced 1025