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.
Justice Vineyard is located just over the east ridge of the Eola-Amity Hills just south of Bethel Heights Winery. Planted in 2001 at 500' in elevation on a southeast slope of thin volcanic soil, the vineyard faces the Cascade Mountains. These grapes come from a 2.33 acre block in the NW corner of the vineyard that is LIVE certified (Sustainable). It is a state-of-the-art, vertical canopy, high density planting of Pinot noir clone 777 and is farmed by one of Oregon's best grapegrowers, Ted Casteel. 2004 marked the first bottling of St. Innocent Justice Pinot Noir. The de-stemmed grapes were fermented in a small Burgundy oak fermenter with no SO2 allowing the fermentation to proceed naturally. After gentle pressing and settling, the wine aged in French oak barrels, 20% of which were new, for 16 months and was bottled by gravity without fining. The 2014 Pinot Noir Justice Vineyard offers attractive cranberry and raspberry fruit on the nose mixed with a subtle oyster shell note that becomes more noticeable as it opens in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, nicely focused in the mouth with rosemary and bay leaf lending complexity towards the finish. This should give plenty of drinking pleasure over the next decade.