The Willamette Valley has a suitable climate for this delicate grape varietyenough 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.
Vintage 2007 is one that will certainly be discussed. Some say its a growers year, where meticulous thinning, canopy management and spray routines helped the fruit left hanging on the vine. Others maintain this is a winemakers year, where the most experienced and agile artists will be able to take the fruit given by Mother Nature and craft some outstanding wines. All agree that it brought some challenges, yet with the rain in the range of 2005 and much less than the last really rainy harvest of 1997, most in the valley know how to adapt; taking advantage of this years attributes such as lower sugars (lower alcohols) and higher acids. These wines will be elegant, refreshing, racy. This vintage will have stellar wines, just perhaps with more variability.
The 2007 Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Gris starts out with sweet and unctuous aromatics; pineapple and a touch of honeysuckle, while also giving crispness on the palate with citrus and grapefruit. Yet true to the Elk Cove Vineyards style, there is a rich mouthfeel to give 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.