Wine of the Week - 2012 Elk Cove Pinot Noir

Wine of the Week - 2012 Elk Cove Pinot Noir

SOLD OUT! Mark my words, the 2012 vintage in Oregon has yielded some of the most stylish and attractive Pinot Noirs produced in the state since the highly esteemed 2008 vintage.

How do I know? Because I was there less than a month ago, and I tasted close to 100 Pinots from the vintage. The 2012 Elk Cove Pinot Noir is one of the best your money can buy. 

Elk Cove Pinot Noir

2012 Elk Cove Pinot Noir

Classic Willamette Valley Pinot Noir from a great vintage!


Elk Cove was founded in 1974 by Pat and Joe Campbell on an old abandoned and overgrown homestead in the foothills of the Coast Range Mountains. They were among an early group of bold, brave, and ambitious producers to put vines down in Oregon. Everyone that knew anything about wine at the time advised them against it, saying Oregon was too cold and too wet to support the vine.

The Campbells, along with their five children, fearlessly moved forward with their project, and we’re glad they did. Forty years later, Elk Cove is considered one of the finest wineries in the state, and it’s still family owned and operated. These days, Joe and Pat’s son Adam oversees all aspects of the winery, from farming to winemaking. He’s proud, he’s methodical, and his attention to detail ensures quality from vine to bottle.

Every respected wine writer and periodical in the country has rated the 2012 vintage in Oregon favorably; Wine Spectator said “ideal conditions produced generous wines.” Warmer and sunnier than usual, the 2012’s possess darker colors, riper flavors, and more concentrated personalities than what is usually encountered in Oregon.

Elk Cove’s Pinot is all of that and then some! It pours a lovely, dark ruby color and the bouquet is marked by a mix of ripe cherry, strawberry, and dark raspberry. As the wine breathes, more brown spice and earth notes arise. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied and the texture is pure silk. The flavors are of red berries, black tea and earthy spice, and the finish goes on and on for at least 30 seconds. Drink this lovely wine now with wild salmon, roast chicken or pork tenderloin, or cellar for 5 to 7 years.

If you know me, you know I’m a “Pinot Devotee,” and this is one of the best sub-$30 Oregon Pinots I’ve encountered in my 16 year career. 

Josh Spurling
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville