2008 Elk Cove, Mount Richmond, Pinot Noir (Release Price $48)
Burgundy will forever be the “gold standard” for pinot noir; however the New World offers two things that the Cote d’Or cannot, innovation and value. Sure, you may find a Burgundian “value” here and there, but most of the wines from this region are priced either at or above par (for all you investors out there). These pinot noirs are the epitome of class in many respects, transmitting the love and devotion of the vintner, as well as the terrior in which they are perceived to grow so flawlessly, that they often fetch prices in the triple, if not quadruple digits.
This is why so many wine drinkers have turned to the New World regions of Oregon, California and New Zealand for their pinots. Of these regions, Oregon is the only to truly specialize in the grape, as the others view other varietals as their cash cows. Of pinot producers I’ve enjoyed this past year, none impressed me as much as Elk Cove. They have a wonderful line-up from top to bottom, with an impressive collection of single-site offerings that each showcase the quality of that given site.
The 2008 Mt. Richmond, along with their Roosevelt, were the standouts of a tasting of ’06-’08 Oregon that I had the opportunity to partake in earlier in the year. The Mt. Richmond, a Pommard clone, was breathtaking. Very much a Burgundy-styled pinot with terrior enveloping your senses from the onset with underbrush, pine needles and clove leading the way followed by velvety blackberry and cherry notes that linger for an extended length. Well-integrated acid and tannins that lend structure and finesse to this lavish pinot. Based on the hint of initial tightness and terrific structure, it should develop brilliantly over the next couple years. (Senel Wine Rating: 94+)
This wine proved to be the best Oregon pinot I’ve had from the noteworthy 2008 vintage thus far. And considering the price, one of the best wine values out there. If you want to leave an impression on someone who appreciates wine, this is a can’t miss.
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