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Elk Cove “Ultima”: Ice Wine, Willamette Valley Style!

I’ve had a someof you express interest in the wines of Elk Cove from Oregon and, in addition to the standard Pinot Gris, we brought in a few bottles of this beauty: a traditional unusual ice wine made from (primarily) late-harvest Riesling grapes from the Willamette Valley!

This was actually sort of a ‘two birds, one stone’ kinda situation, as we were able to bring in something fun and unusual from this winery, while simultaneously adding to a dessert wine set (and particularly the eiswein/ice wine sub-section of that set) that I’ve been working on to improve over the last couple of months. This particular wine is interesting in that the grapes are frozen after being picked, to emulate the eiswines made in Germany (and Canada, etc) where the grapes typically freeze on the vine.

The gorgeously wax-dipped 375ml slimline bottle of 2016 “Ultima” hints at the luxury inside. This wine is a blend of primarily Riesling, with small amounts of supplemental varietals, sourced from vine plots that are 8, 33, and 43 years old, respectively. From the winery:

“For our ultra-sweet Ultima wine, we press the grapes while frozen, which leaves a portion of the water from the grapes behind. This concentrates the fruit’s sweetness as well as all other flavors and aromatic compounds. The juice is then slow fermented in chilled tanks to protect the lovely honey and floral qualities that make Ultima a prized dessert wine.”

Like the majority of late-harvest dessert wines and ice wines, this is best enjoyed chilled, in small glasses, preferably split among several people. Try with golden fruit tarts or bleu cheese for something really special, or all by itself at the conclusion of an elegant meal. Only 406 cases produced!! I’ve already sold two of the six bottles we have off the shelf, without even announcing that it was in. ‘Tis the season…get it while you can!

$30.99/375ml bottle (you save $7.00!)




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