2021 Riesling Late Harvest
A classic fresh and floral sweet wine made from our old vines Riesling blocks.
VINTAGE 2021 was an outstanding year at Elk Cove. Cool weather during bloom and moderate temperatures during most of the growing season brought forth an ample harvest of intensely concentrated fruit.
The timing of weather events was key to our success in 2021. Rainfall during bloom raised expectations for a small, high-quality crop. Then a once-in-a millennium heat dome event brought worrying temperatures to the Pacific Northwest. This was thankfully during the most resilient stage of the growing season and our old vines survived without signs of serious stress or sunburn. Growth resumed normally once temperatures cooled with average heat from July through September bringing even ripening to the plentiful small, loose clusters. Our vines made it through the rain and the heat in fine condition with lots of variable-sized berries, known as hens and chicks.
Harvest 2021 was not only of high quality but also surprisingly bountiful. Low levels of dehydration combined with the numerous small clusters and several acres of young vines coming into maturity meant a record tonnage for Elk Cove. For red Pinot Noirs, expect intense color and flavors bursting out of the glass, while white wines and rosés are fruit-forward with great acidity and balance.
We only produce our Riesling Late Harvest in years when we can allow the fruit to ripen fully on the vine. In Oregon, this depends both on the timing of both harvest and the fall rains.
Our Late Harvest Riesling is made from very ripe fruit with 5-20% botrytis (noble rot) which adds an earthy honey character to the wine. The grapes are whole-cluster pressed and fermented at very cool temperatures in small stainless steel tanks to retain the freshness of the Riesling grapes. Some of the original sweetness is always retained in the final wine, without sacrificing structure and acidity.
Viticultural & Enological Data
- Vatting Whole-cluster pressed and cold fermented in small stainless steel tanks.