St. Innocent Winery is a well-established and prestigious maker of Pinot Noir and cool climate white wines based in Salem, Oregon. Established in 1988, winemaker Mark Vlossek produces age worthy Pinot Noirs from estate and leased vineyards. The winery’s reputation has been built on vineyard designated Pinot Noir from purchased grapes. The name, St. Innocent, is in honor of Mark’s father, John Innocent Vlossak, who was a wine importer and introduced his son to the pleasures of fine wine at a young age. John was born on All Innocents Day.
Freedom Hill Vineyard produces Pinot noirs with structure, depth, and richness as well as a strong sense of minerality. The site is relatively warm from daytime heat that rises up the large, flat valley below. This develops rich skin tannins. Because of its proximity to the Oregon Coast range - it is on the edge of the Coast Range of mountains- the vineyard is quite cool at night. This maintains good acidity in the wine. This combination of tannin and acidity produces Pinot noir with great structure. Capturing that intensity and revealing the nuances of the terroir without excess tannins is the key to making great Freedom Hill.
The de-stemmed grapes were fermented in stainless steel with no SO2, allowing the fermentation to proceed naturally. After gentle pressing and settling, the wine aged in French oak barrels, 27% of which were new, for 16 months before bottling by gravity. This 2014 offers pungent dark cherry and cassis aromas with roasted spice, sweet earth and clove notes. The richness of ripe tannin and acidity reveals the power behind this PInot noir from this famous site. The suppleness of the fruit and earth notes extend into a very balanced and lengthy finish. Best served with rich dishes, it is a great match for steak, lamb, rich pasta dishes. Enjoy over the next dozen years.