Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Gris Willamette Valley 2014

Gold-yellow color; citrus, apricot, pear on the nose; pear, peach, tangerine, nectarine on the palate;

superb fruit, superbly styled. Sleek, clean, racy acidity (3.16 pH), polished, delicious, smooth, nice balance and length.

Whole-cluster pressed, fermented at cool temperatures in small stainless steel tanks. Dry with faint whiff of sweetness from the great fruit.

Pat and Joe Campbell founded Elk Cove Vineyards in 1974, making it one of Oregon’s oldest wine shrines. There may have been as few as 200 acres of grapes planted in all of Oregon at that time; today there are more than 400 wineries in the Willamette Valley alone. Roosevelt elk migrate each spring in the valley valley, thus the name on the label. Joe made wine for the first twenty years, then worked with son, Adam, until Adam took over in 1997.

The Willamette Valley is 150 miles long; it is surrounded on three sides by mountain ranges—the Oregon Coast Range to the west, the Cascades to the east, and the Calapooya Mountains to the south. Seven out of 10 people in Oregon live in the valley; cities include Portland, the largest, and Salem, the state capital. It was the destination for settlers on the Oregon Trail, who proclaimed it a land of milk and honey. Pinot noir, pinot gris and pinot blanc are the pinot trilogy at Elk Cove, and they consistently deliver with all three. $19-22

Elk Cove website

Second photo: Winemaker Adam Campbell

Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Gris Willamette Valley 2014
Elk Cove Winemaker Adam Campbell