Overview of the Wine
"St. Innocent began as an idea conceived in a moment of passion and inspiration in 1983. Mark Vlossak spent the next five years studying, taking classes, and apprenticing with Oregon wine pioneer, Fred Arterberry. In 1988, St. Innocent Winery was founded. Our goal is to produce wines that respect the quality and tradition of the Old World in one of the newest and most exciting wine growing regions on the planet: Oregon's Willamette Valley. "
"Mark Vlossak is the Founder, President, and Winemaker of St. Innocent Winery in Jefferson, Oregon. During his university training, he developed a love for Champagne. After reading an article in 1983 on American sparkling wine in Bon Appetit magazine, he was inspired to become a winemaker. Andre Tshelishev was quoted: "the greatest sparkling wine in America will be made in Oregon, not California, because it is the right place to grow Pinot noir and Chardonnay, the grapes of Champagne." During his training, he apprenticed with Fred Arterberry, Jr., the first Oregonian to make sparkling wine. Fred also produced the first vineyard-designated Pinot noirs in Oregon, something Mark would soon become famous for producing.
Shea Vineyard Pinot Noirs emphasize weight with good acidity, layered flavors, concentrated fruit, and terroir specific flavors. The Shea Pinot noirs Mark has produced consistently out-age wines from other sites. He also considers them to be the most complex and detailed wines he makes. The best wines of Burgundy are exceptionally detailed wines that age very well. If we apply that standard to Oregon, Shea is a great vineyard. Shea is actually two vineyards separated by a steep ravine. Both of the blocks used for St. Innocent are located in the East Field. Block 6 was planted in 1998 with Dijon clone 115 and a small amount of Pommard (11 rows). It lies on a long SE slope at about 600' in elevation. The Terrace Block faces SW, is planted with the Pommard clone, and gets its name from the terraces carved into its steep slope.
Grape / Blend
Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
Vintage Notes: 2016 was the third in a string of warm summers and early harvests. It produced the smallest crop of the three. The harvest began with a bit of heat and dehydration in the fruit. This immediately resolved with cooler temperatures and the rest of the harvest produced well balanced fruit with lovely flavors and ripe tannins. We finished picking at the end of September, producing a total of 10,200 cases. In general 2016 produced lush, early-drinking wines with lovely aromatics and accessible fruit, spice and floral notes. They can be aged and are quite approachable in their youth.
94 Points - Vinous
Product size: 750ml