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.
Early in his career, Mark Vlossek was also the winemaker for Panther Creek Winery, where he acquired his Pinot Noir winemaking expertise. The first St. Innocent Pinot Noir was from the 1998 vintage which was a blend from several Willamette Valley vineyards. This wine was to later be replaced by the Villages Cuvée which debuted in 2002.
The Momtazi Vineyard grapes come from four blocks at the top of the vineyard on steep, exposed hillsides that become quite windblown. The de-stemmed grapes were fermented in small stainless steel and Burgundy oak fermenters. After gently pressing and settling the wine aged in French oak barrels, 28% which were new, for 16 months before bottling by gravity. This 2014 is a complex wine that reflects the heat of the afternoon sun, the cool, windy evenings, and the rustic soils of the McMinnville hills while retaining the dark beauty of its intense, ripe fruit. It is aromatically complex with layers of blue and black fruit, Indian spices, coffee hints, and pepper. In the mouth the blue/black fruit flavors and eastern spice notes are layered with a "sauvage" sense of wildness. Texturally layered, its flavors vary in intensity and quality over your tongue and palate. Ample ripe tannins balance with its acidity.