The name Elk Cove is one that for those familiar with Oregon Pinot Noir signifies quality and consistency. The Campbell family came to the what would become the Yamhill-Carlton AVA in 1974, not even ten years after the first Pinot Noir was planted in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. While there may be other Pinot Noirs being made in Oregon around the $20 price point often times its hard to track those wines to a vineyard site, or to a winery that you might recognize. Which is what makes the wines from Pike Road so appealing. These are wines from Oregon that are under $20 that come with a pedigree that you can trust.
The Pike Road wines are crafted from fruit from the same vineyards that make up the Elk Cove wines, along with a few other non-estate sources. The wines themselves offer signature Oregon aromatics and flavors for a very reasonable price. The 2014 vintage is the first from the label and it makes sense as the warm and consistent growing season offered winegrowers a bumper crop. Part of the Pike Road mission is to allow the Campbell family to continue to support the small family owned vineyards in Oregon as the state is seeing a lot of investment and vineyard purchasing from larger conglomerates from California and beyond.
The inaugural offering from Pike Road is classical Oregon Pinot Noir character with aromas of turned earth, raspberry and clove. The palate is medium bodied, and fruit driven with tints of minerality. Flavors of classic fresh Oregon Pinot, including blackberry and raspberry, along with hints of peat and forest floor. The bargain bottling is a case study in quality. The wines are all aged in 100% French oak barrels for ten months and given the same treatment that a lot of the higher tier Elk Cove wines receive. The result is quality with a price that translates to pairing more Pinot Noir with your midweek meals.
Pairing Picks: Oregon Pinot Noir is the single greatest salmon wine in the world, and so I say unto you, stock up on the Pacific Northwest other great contribution to the taste buds and pair grilled or poached salmon with this Pinot on the weekend, or any day of the week.
The Pike Road Pinot Gris is a study in the warm vintage of 2015. Tropical aromas of pineapple and passionfruit along with a dash of nutmeg make for an ample and full bodied Pinot Gris. Flavors of lemon zest, grapefruit and more of that ripe pineapple give you a sense of what kinds of full bodied whites Oregon is capable of producing in a warm growing year.
Pairing Picks: Keeping with the grilled theme, think grilled lemon pepper chicken as well as pan-fried cod. This is perhaps the one wine you can pair reliably with asparagus and it’s asparagus season so why not have some with the aforementioned chicken or cod? We also advocate for grilled shrimp and crab cakes along side this wine. (Given we love grilled shrimp or crab cakes we like them with most anything though.)