Oregon’s Elk Cove offers the classic expressions endemic to the region, and today we look at a trio of current releases from the brand.
2019 Elk Cove Chardonnay Goodrich Yamhill-Carlton AVA – Refreshing, with vibrant notes of green apple and quince flavoring a creamy, lemon-infused custard palate. There’s ample vanilla in the mix, but enough grassiness and mineral character throughout to keep things lively. The fruit tart finish, tilting at green berries and lime leaf, feels decidedly traditional on the whole, making this an exuberant crowd pleaser from start to finish. A- / $35
2021 Elk Cove Estate Pinot Blanc Willamette Valley – Rich and creamy up front, I would have sworn this was chardonnay until I looked later at the label. Notes of buttery vanilla are paired with a bright lemon curd note and a hint of grassiness, adding a gentle earthiness to the wine — and a slightly saline quality — that ultimately gives it an impressive balance. There’s not a ton of complexity here, yet it never feels like a “simple” experience. A- / $25
2019 Elk Cove Pinot Noir Goodrich Yamhill-Carlton AVA – A single vineyard wine club exclusive. Do yourself a favor and chill this pinot noir slightly, which helps to coax out notes of cherries and chocolate — iconic elements of a well-crafted pinot. Some warmth allows notes of oak staves, fresh thyme, and rosemary — and a touch of tannic bitterness — to grow in prominence, and while none of those are ever off-putting, it’s in the slightly sweeter moments where this wine really shines. A- / $60