2013 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
Current Release

Cherry garnet in color with an earthy aroma of black currants, fresh tomato and dried rose petal. A woodsy fireside note accents a juicy, full mouthful of sour cherry and plum with underlying layers of cinnamon stick and coffee bean. The silky finish persists with long, dusty tannins.

VINTAGE 2013 had both the merits and the challenges of our cool climate. Wet weather during bloom led to low yields, requiring minimal thinning. A warm, dry summer followed, with a long season ideal for developing delicate flavors and concentration.

Adam’s mantra of great winemaking “starting in the vineyard” rang true – each day he checked multiple weather reports and walked the vineyards, tasting and testing juice for flavor development and brix. The goal: carefully time picking to avoid dilution, splitting and rot, while achieving optimum physiological ripeness. Although Tropical Storm Pabuk broke 100-year rainfall records in late September, it had a minimal effect on fruit quality with less than 1/3 of our fruit coming in that week.

We don’t grow grapes here because it’s easy, but because of the beautiful, complex flavors we get from our Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and other cool-climate varietals. 2013 will likely be a year that gets mixed reviews, with comparisons to 2010 and 2011. Those in the know rely on these vintages for beautiful elegance, great freshness and amazing longevity.

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 Age
  • Harvest Sugars
  • pH
  • Vatting
    Fermentation in small open top fermentors. 10 months in French oak.


Wine Spectator: 90 Points

“Fresh and expressive, light-footed and generous, with cherry, plum and apricot flavors, coming together smoothly…”
Wine Spectator Magazine (September 30, 2015)

Year's Best Pinot Noirs

San Francisco based Wine and Spirits Magazine tasted more than 1,140 Pinot Noirs in 2015. Of those, only 149 received a score high enough to make their Year’s Best U.S. Pinot Noirs…
Wine & Spirits (April, 2016)

Wine & Spirits: 91 Points

“frisky and fresh, acids and tannins working together to forge plenty of movement and charm…”
Wine & Spirits (October 2015)