St. Innocent Justice Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
The 2009 Justice Vineyard Pinot noir has a nose of that is dominated by nutmeg, ginger, cardamon and cassis notes with raspberry and anise notes underneath. Its lighter color belies the textural density from the moment this wine touches you palate. Mixed fruits dominate the entry framed by detailed spice and light floral notes. Best described as elegantly complex, it is seductive without being cloying or heavy and possesses great finesse and charm.
Justice Pinot noir is a great match for traditional Burgundy dishes: Coq au Vin, Boeuf Bourguignon, Oeufs en Meurette, as well as wild birds and game, sausages, mushroom and a wide variety of risottos. Drink over the next few years or age up to a decade and watch it evolve.
International Wine Cellar - "Bright red. Exotically perfumed, expressive aromas of fresh red berries and flowers, with Asian spice and potpourri notes and a deeper vanillin quality in the background. Silky, seamless and focused, offering lively raspberry and cherry flavors and notes of allspice and star anise. Clean and lithe on the finish, where the red fruit and floral notes repeat strongly. This puts on weight with air and has the balance to age."
Burghound.com - "Here the nose is similar to that of the Momtazi but with more elegance and a bit more spice influence. The supple yet entirely serious flavors possess a textured and sophisticated mouth feel as the mid-palate concentration is excellent and all of the dry extract buffers the firm tannic spine that shapes the balanced, lingering and mouth coating finish. In a word, terrific."
Wine Spectator - "A silky red, brimming with aromas and flavors of raspberry, blueberry and flowers, which persist with a hint of chalk on the long and delicate finish. Drink now through 2019. 391 cases made. "
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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.