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.
Situated at 760' atop the Eola Hills, Temperance Hill is the coolest and therefore latest ripening of St. Innocent's vineyard sources. Managed by Dai Crisp, one of Oregon's great grapegrowers, it is farmed organically. We have two older blocks: one high on an east facing ridge ("East", six acres), the other slightly lower and facing south ("Pumphouse", 1.5 acres). Another block, called the "R" block lies on a long, gently south facing field between the two ridges of the vineyard (4.5 acres). It was planted between 2006 and 2009 with Dijon clones of Pinot noir on phylloxera resistant rootstock and at a higher density. The de-stemmed grapes were fermented in small stainless steel fermenters with no SO2, allowing the fermentation to proceed naturally. After gentle pressing and settling, the wine aged in French oak barrels, 21% of which were new, for 16 months before bottling by gravity without fining. The 2014 is dark ruby in color. Its nose is full with dark cherry and berry notes. Fragrant lilac and iris aromas are complimented with hints of allspice, and sweet herb and chocolate. Very fresh and concentrated on the palate with sweet red fruits, pungent ground spices and hints of red peppercorns. Supple tannins with an almost sweet acidity linger along with the black cherry and spice flavors that linger and slowly fade into its finish. Beautiful now, it will continue to provide pleasure for more than a decade.