2022 Elk Cove Vineyards, Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir "Goodrich Vineyard"
2022 Elk Cove Vineyards, Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir "Goodrich Vineyard"

2022 Elk Cove Vineyards, Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir "Goodrich Vineyard"

Oregon, United States 2022 (750mL)
Regular price$59.00

2022 Elk Cove Vineyards, Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir "Goodrich Vineyard"

Thirty years ago, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir was a scrappy upstart of a category. Today, it is a classic that aspiring sommeliers and wine professionals study next to top versions from California and Burgundy. It turns out that David Lett was onto something when he planted vines back in the 1960s, and not too far behind him were Pat and Joe Campell, who joined seven other neighbors as the first cadre of wine producers in Oregon back in the early 1970s. To this day, their wines remain true benchmarks of Willamette Valley achievement. One sip of their “Goodrich Vineyard” is all you need to understand why the Campbell family and their team are at the very top tier of West Coast Pinot producers: Silky, sappy red fruits, sensuous texture, and impeccable balance are all immediately apparent. This is one of the best examples of old school Oregon Pinot we’ve tasted in a long time, do not miss out.

Joe and Pat Campbell were key players in Willamette’s historic first decade of winegrowing with the installation of the first vines for their Elk Cove estate in 1974 (now a part of the Yamhill-Carton AVA). The ambitious, hard-working couple purchased an abandoned fruit orchard, had it cleared, and began to install the original vineyard while living on the property in a trailer with their small children. The existing homestead barn was converted into their first winery and a family home was eventually built from reclaimed wood. Joe, an ER physician, continued working nights while Pat managed the day-to-day business and they both logged long hours in the vineyards and making the early wines. At the time, there were fewer than 10 wineries in Oregon. 

One of those “trailer” kids was Adam Campbell. Since climbing aboard and eventually taking over the winemaking duties in the late ’90s, he’s guided Elk Cove’s emergence as one of Willamette’s iconic estates. Currently, he oversees six sprawling vineyard sites, all sustainably farmed and rigorously maintained. As of 2017, all Elk Cove wines are fully estate grown. Today’s wine comes from their “Goodrich” vineyard, which they purchased in 2014. The vines were planted in 2007 in a high density fashion on a 21-acre site that is just a few miles from the town of Yamhill, and from the original Elk Cove property as well. 

Like most of Elk Cove’s vineyards, Goodrich is planted in “Willakenzie” soils composed of heavy marine sediment with shallow sandstone topsoil that’s well-drained and yields barely two tons per acre of compact, tiny-berry clusters. All the fruit is hand-harvested and sorted before it lands at the gravity-flow winery, then fermented in small, temperature-controlled, open-top steel tanks, with a healthy percentage of whole clusters. The grape must is punched down by hand twice daily then aged for 10 months in French oak, of which about a third is new. Only the very best barrels are selected for the final blend in order to exemplify the lush, silky profile of “Goodrich.”

The 2022 vintage was challenging, with a cold spring that included a rare April snow shower, and then a very hot and dry late summer. But cool autumn winds arrived just in time to allow for both ripeness and structure. The resulting wines are perfectly balanced, among the best in recent memory, and “Goodrich”is a shining example of the vintage. In the glass, it displays a dark ruby red core with magenta emerging as it moves toward the rim. Alluring scents of black cherry, violets, blueberry, plum, cedar, anisette, espresso, and warm earth dominate the bouquet. The supple palate is silky smooth, holding vivid flavors of sweet cherries, blueberries, black tea, and spicy mocha. A smoky mineral note echoes throughout the vibrant mouthfeel and the impressive, long finish is marked with welcomed, gently woven tannins and bursting acidity. Served at 60 degrees in Burgundy stems, its striking similarity to a young, powerful, Côte de Nuits red is truly remarkable, but the special Willakenzie minerality also shines through. Extremely pleasurable now after a good decant it will also age gracefully for 10 plus years. This superb vintage of “Goodrich” exemplifies Elk Cove’s decades-long command and capture of Yamhill-Carlton’s terroir. If you love Pinot Noir, this is a must have!

2022 Elk Cove Vineyards, Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir "Goodrich Vineyard"

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