12 - 27
Yield: 2.15 tons/acre
Harvest Sugars: 23 Brix
Bottled: January 2013
Cases Produced: 15,500
The Willamette Valley has a suitable climate for this delicate grape variety—enough sunlight and warmth for ripening and cooler night temperatures to retain varietal character. To preserve the freshness, it is whole-cluster pressed, and then fermented at very cool temperatures in small stainless steel tanks, which accentuates aromatics and enhances the richness and viscosity. The fruit is hand-harvested from select hillside vineyards in the northern Willamette Valley. Our estate Pinot Gris is planted in a high-density format, which undergoes shoot and crop thinning for low yields.
Gone are the worries of the two most recent harvests where fretting over attaining ripeness from back to back unprecedented crushes that extended into November. Instead, 2012 brings one of the driest harvest seasons on record as much of the state only had traces of precipitation since early July. Some have even claimed it to be drought-like. But late season cooling and a timely shot of rain brought everything into balance. The vintage has already brought descriptions of “stunning, amazing and epic” having winemakers giddy with the potential of the best vintage in the history of the 50 year-old region. It’s a year where quality trumps quantity. The 2012 crop is smaller than the record Oregon wine grape harvest of 2011. But the quality is considered by most to be in the top echelon of harvests ever.
The 2012 Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Gris has sweet and unctuous aromatics while showing crispness on the palate with vibrant citrus and grapefruit. True to Elk Cove Vineyards’ style, a rich mouthfeel leads to a full and satisfying balanced finish. Drink this lovely white wine as an aperitif or with a variety of food pairings from salmon and main-course salads to Asian and Thai influenced dishes.
2013 Sunset International Wine Competition: Silver Medal.