St. Innocent Zenith Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
Our Estate wine, the 2009 Zenith Vineyard Pinot noir, has a big nose of red raspberries with smoke, cedar, and dark ground spice notes. In the mouth, layers of red and dark red fruit dominate the palate with roasted spices, dark flowers and forest floor flavors underneath. This is a richly layered wine with complex flavors and medium weight tannins. Its multidimensional components will evolve over a decade.
Wine & Spirits - "Warm and spicy scents of beef bones, black tea and redwood fronds support fruit that's all red cherry, all the time. That ripe core of fruit feels clean and assertive; savory notes of ripe tannin cradle the finish, giving the wine a clean line."
Burghound.com - "Noticeable reduction does not completely veil the nose unduly but it does add to the impression that the aromatic profile is very deeply pitched. The reduction also extends to the rich, round and impressively concentrated flavors that possess plenty of dry extract that coats the palate on the dusty, balanced and moderately austere finish. This doesn’t seem like the reduction is permanent and I suspect that it will age out without difficulty. That said, I would strongly advise decanting this if you’re going to open one on the young side."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby-red. Smoky red and dark berry aromas are complicated by cola, sassafras and allspice. Juicy, well-focused raspberry and bitter cherry flavors pick up smoke and spice notes in the middle palate, with a spine of zesty acidity providing focus and lift. Finishes with refreshing bitterness and an incisive quality, echoing the red fruit and spice notes."
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St. Innocent Winery
St. Innocent Winery was founded in May 1988 by Mark Vlossak, the current winemaker and president, and eight investors. Ten tons of grapes were crushed the first fall, producing 396 cases of still and 176 cases of sparkling wine. Production increased to our full capacity of 6800 cases in 2004. The winery is located in Salem, Oregon, at the southeast corner of the Eola Hills, in the mid-Willamette valley.
St. Innocent produces small lot, handmade wines: seven single vineyard Pinot noirs and a blended Pinot noir called the Villages Cuvée, two Chardonnay from Dijon clone plantings, two Pinot gris, and a Pinot blanc.
The philosophy behind the winemaking at St Innocent is that the function of wine is to complement and extend the pleasure of a meal. The characteristics of a wine should enhance different food and flavor combinations - this interaction amplifies the pleasure of a meal. To this end, St. Innocent wines tend toward higher acid levels, and more diverse and balanced flavors. View all St. Innocent Winery Wines
About Willamette ValleyView a map of Willamette Valley wineries (will-AAM-it)
Named for the river that runs through the valley from Portland to Eugene, Willamette Valley is home to some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in the Northwest. While along the same north/south line as Seattle, the Willamette Valley is protected from Pacific rains by the Coast Range on the western border and the Cascade Ranges to the east. Though sunshine is typically plentiful, rainfall can occasionally be tricky, and the wines here vary vintage to vintage. Within the Willamette Valley are are number of sub-regions, including McMinnville, Dundee and Yamhill.
Notable FactsThe valley is known for its Pinots – Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. With a climate similar to Burgundy – in rainfall, sunlight hours and other climate factors – Pinot Noir has flourished here. Pinot Noir in Oregon produces wines that are fruit forward, yet complex, some with good agebility.
Other than Pinot Noir, many wineries grow Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Pinot Gris from Oregon is delightful in its texture and food friendliness. Chardonnay in the valley adapts well to the cool climate and produces lean, elegant wines.
About OregonOregon has long been an agricultural state, producing everything from hazelnuts to cattle. The Willamette Valley in particular is a fertile basin for all sorts of produce. Not quite pegged as a wine state, in 1965, a UC Davis graduate named David Lett decided that the Willamette's climate mirrored that of Burgundy in France. With that in mind, he decided to plant some Pinot Noir clones to see how they did. And a good gamble it was. The Willamette is now one of the only regions in the world to focus solely on Pinot Noir as its red variety. Also known for Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. The southern part of Oregon has been slower in delving into the world wine market, but has been making excellent strides with their Rhone style varietals, like Syrah and Grenache. There are also coastal regions producing promising wines.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.