Elk Cove’s Ultimas are our definition of dessert; opulence in a bottle. Having long ago established a “cult-like” status, Riesling remains the cornerstone of our new blend, simply called Ultima. The Ultima is comprised each vintage of a selection of aromatic varietals consisting of a proprietary blend. While Riesling supplies the weight of this wine with fresh pear, apricot and honey notes the supplemental varietals adds beautiful delicate aromatics.
We often describe our Ultima as indulgent and decadent, yet they are always kept in balance with crisp acidity and freshness. Historically these wines only grow in beauty with age. Potential for this wine with cool cellaring is up to twenty years.
There is a quiet kind of excitement in the Willamette Valley after harvest 2008. Phrases and clichés keep rolling on such as classic cool climate, vintage conditions that are only dreamt of, potential to show the best of what Oregon has to offer. Add to this, repeated references to perhaps one of Oregon’s best vintages, 1999 and understandably many in the valley are smiling. Oregon’s 2008 growing season started late, with bud break on average ten days to two weeks behind schedule and followed with a relatively cool growing season. Thoughts of the recent wet and cool harvest of 2007 had many aggressively thin vineyards to concentrate fruit and speed up ripening and ward off disease pressure. Yet as in 1999, a beautiful Oregon autumn saved the day! Fall was spectacular with sunny days and cold nights laying the foundation to produce extraordinary wines.
To create Ultima, we choose the most perfectly ripe, aromatic grapes fruit from our estate vineyards, primarily Riesling. We freeze the fruit prior to pressing to emulate the ice-wines produced in regions where fruit freezes on the vine.
To produce the Ultima, we press the grapes while frozen, which leaves a portion of the water from the grapes behind. This concentrates the fruit’s sweetness as well as all other flavors and aromatic compounds. The juice is then slow fermented in chilled tanks to protect the lovely honey and floral qualities that make Ultima a prized dessert wine.
- Vine Age 21-31 years
- Yield 2.5 tons/acre
- pH 3.27
- Vatting Whole-cluster pressed frozen grapes cold fermented in small stainless steel tanks.
- Cases Produced 496