The Elk Cove, 2009 Pinot Noir.

We sat down at a popular and local Middle Eastern restaurant: Mazza Grill. Middle Eastern spices are not always known for pairing well with pinots. Or, at least, pinots in our price range. But clandestinely hiding in our messenger bag just aching to be taken out, corked by our waiter and poured with exhaustion from his eight hour shift, the glass glimmering in the glare of the sun like some ancient and revered historic sword being taken from a stone. The star jewel of the restaurant, the provoker of jealous stares, the source of lusting lick-of-the-lips, was our Elk Cove, 2009 pinot noir. Actually, it wasn’t as epic as all that. It just seemed that way because everyone else around us was drinking black ales. We were outliers, but being outliers with exciting wine is never a far cry from virtue.

It wasn’t the price of the wine that first tipped us off to what was truly special and deep about this pinot, nor even the first enticing whiff, or the first roll-of-the-eye-ohmygodohmygodfuckfuck taste, but instead was the revelation of how well a terrifically balanced wine could hold up so well to flooding oils and strata of cardamom, cumin, paprika and exotic pepper.

Elk Cove, Willemette Oregon Pinot Noir, 2009 – $45

– A true ruby red coloration. Very little thinness on the rim. The colors simply advance to the forefront of the brim beautifully.

– On the nose: Gust and sweet. There resides in the whim of odor a well defined grass redolence, a melange of red fruit with an emphasis of strawberry. Fresh and clean were words that came to our minds.

– The clean zeal of the nose came through on the palette. The strawberry finds its way in again as well, leaving a defined but balanced sweetness that was as if an arrow that shot straight across the roof of your mouth. The balance was delicate; there was nothing weak or grating, but all the elements were there, blooming and not at all under cloak. The finish was saline, leaving you craving another sip; the body was whole and coated every bit of the mouth with a linger. Drinking this was like sipping a silky stream.

Overall: Worthy. It’s expensive, yes, but wholly worth it. If you’ve ever wondered what is beyond the bargain bin, beyond your usual price point of twenty-dollar-Pinot-land, and if you’ve found yourself questioning a wine snob writing about the the majesty and spectacle of a saline, mineral miracle that is good pinot noir, then please try this pinot. This Elk Cove is going to give you a rather close encounter to what some of the finest pinots can archive. For the price, this is the best pinot we’ve had.

Quote of The Evening:

That man’s beer just blinked at me… I’m sure of it.

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