Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir on a Snowy Night

December 21st brought more than the official start of Winter.
It also brought the final frenzied countdown to Christmas, with shoppers frantically buying their last gifts.  And the wine department in which I work was packed with people seeking the perfect gift.
In addition, the first significant snowfall made its appearance.

The nighttime snowfall created a welcome hush over the landscape, and my Christmas tree brought a peaceful glow to my quiet living room.

A pot full of mushrooms, butternut squash and kale was the best thing on a snowy, twinkling-lights kind of evening.

I poured the Elk Cove Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2011.

Well, I adore Oregon Pinot Noirs, and Elk Cove Vineyards was one of the first Oregon vineyards I visited years ago.  During that visit, Elk Cove welcomed us as if we were family, inviting us to their club member gathering, and proudly pouring glasses of their top wines.  In Oregon, there is no “attitude”, just a genuine love of the land, the grapes, and the people who strive to make the most expressive wines possible.  Furthermore, wine making families show an honest desire to share their magnificent elixir with those who want to know and appreciate it.

This Pinot Noir is blended from several different vineyards in the Willamette Valley, showcasing the different soil types within the valley, and is regarded as the foundation of the winery.  The nose offers cherry and raspberry along with some red licorice, a dash of cinnamon, and cedar.

The palate is full of bright, fresh cherry and black cherry.  Flavors are held in a velvety texture, with a core of bright acidity, and finish with baking spice and light tannins.  The delicious cherry fruit lingers on for a while.

There was not a lot of earthy character to this Pinot Noir which I had assumed would complement all the mushrooms in my soup.

But never mind, the bright fruits were a pleasant foil to the hearty flavors held in the soup.

A steaming bowl of soup, with an elegant Pinot Noir, snowflakes in the night, and twinkling Christmas lights all came together for a cozy start to the Winter.

About the author: Sue Navratil

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