St. Innocent Freedom Hill Pinot Blanc 2009
Pinot Blanc from Willamette Valley, Oregon
Pinot blanc and Pinot gris are closely related to Pinot noir. Both are the result of natural mutations of Pinot noir. The entire Pinot family ripens beautifully in Oregon because our climate is ideally suited to their growing needs. The resulting wines are blessed with both ripe fruit and balanced acidity needed to match with food.
The aromatics of the 2009 Pinot blanc have taken on dimensions that I have not previously seen. Its usual yellow and white fruit, have expanded to include melon and hints of ginger and salty, coastal air. Floral and tropical fruit flavors are layered with peach, red apple, and cantaloupe with nuances of spice, white flowers, and powdered ginger. It has a lovely mouth filling texture and its flavors linger well into the finish. This vintage finished completely dry.
Pinot blanc is perfect with crab cakes, mussels, ceviches, and a wide variety of flavorful appetizers. It is especially good with hors d'oeuvres that are a bit salty and rich. Drink now or over the next two years to enjoy this wine at its peak of freshness.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2009 Pinot Blanc Freedom Hill Vineyard offers up a melange of white fruit aromas, spice box, and mineral. Layered, round, and smooth-textured, this dry, pristine offering will pair beautifully with ceviche and shell fish over the next 2-3 years. All three of these white wines are excellent values."
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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Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.