2014 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
Vintage 2014 in Oregon may be remembered as the vintage of a lifetime; one of those rare vintages, reminiscent of 1988 and 2002, when you have high quality and high quantity simultaneously. The tone for the season was set at bud break, which averaged two weeks early and held on through harvest. Growing conditions were mostly dry and warmer than normal resulting in a large number of small clusters that ripened evenly over the course of the summer, giving us wines that show as fruit focused, quite concentrated and with amazing freshness.
This year’s warmer than average nights and moderate days created the ideal conditions that led to a faster rate of ripening due to less stress on the vines. This allowed the fruit to stay in harmony. In addition, notes Winemaker, Adam Campbell, “the amazing summer weather led to the lowest disease pressure I have ever seen, creating a harvest that was the stuff dreams are made of – little rain, gorgeous fruit, and an easy tempo making for a relaxed and delightful crush”. These prolonged warm days and moderately cool nights with low heat stress led to ideal ripening.
Fruit quality, harmony and balance were key factors in the 2014 growing season. As fruit came in with incredible evenness and extraordinary concentration, 2014 will likely be a show stopping vintage. We remain true to our goals as wine growers – looking to capture the beautiful, complex flavors that are the signature of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and other cool-climate varietals.
Our Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is made with fruit from all five of our vineyard sites: Estate, Mount Richmond, Five Mountain, Clay Court and Windhill. 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 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.
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 Age5-40 years
- Harvest Sugars23.2 brix
- VattingFermentation in small open top fermentors. 10 months in French oak.
Our 2014 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir won Gold at the 2016 Cascadia Wine Competition which took place at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel
– Great Northwest Wines (March 17, 2016)