Elk Cove Pinot Noir Rose’ Rekindles the Magic

My six-year-old laptop finally called it quits; The search for a new laptop (or tablet, or notebook?) began; then a trip to Oregon.  Finally I am back to writing my blog, posting photos, and excited to share new wine discoveries!

The Willamette Valley wine industry was founded in the 1960’s by pioneers who ignored skeptics and planted Pinot Noir grapes believing the grapes would thrive in the cooler climate.  And thrive, they did. The valley is now home to approximately 400 wineries!

Many wineries today remain small, often family-run, and  many now are on the second generation of producers. When stopping for a tasting, you are likely to be greeted by the owner climbing off his tractor to let you into the tasting room.  Or the winemaker herself, greeting you at the door, and explaining how she decides when to prune the vines and how that affects the final wine produced.

Pinot Noir is King in the Willamette Valley and winemakers work their magic with this finicky grape in a climate that is ever challenging. In their hands, it becomes elegantly restrained, beautifully supple on the tongue, full of fruits and flowers, pleasantly acidic, and offers hints of the earth in which it is produced.

Yes, magical!

The Pinot Noir Rose’s tend to be juicy, floral and elegant, fermented to dryness.  While visiting, I lapped up as much of the 2013 rose’s as I could handle!  They have been released in just the last few months and are at the peak of freshness.

The 2013 vintage was nearly ideal until late September when there was record rainfall.  But Oregon winemakers are not unused to difficult vintages and they strive to let each vintage reveal its uniqueness.

The first rose’ I opened after returning to Iowa was the Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rose’ 2013.

The wine shows a delicate blush of pink and offers aromas of rose petals with luscious fruits.  Watermelon, strawberry and cherry flavors mingle together. The mouth feel is generous while remaining fresh.  It is all wrapped up in a clean, refreshing finish.  The fruit of the wine paired beautifully with a plate of watermelon/feta bites!

This day in Iowa was warm and humid.  Family were gathering, and the Rose’ was a magical reminder of our wonderful trip to Oregon.

About the author: Sue Navratil

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