Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Willamette Valley    Oregon   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
St. Innocent Freedom Hill Pinot Noir 2008
St. Innocent Freedom Hill Pinot Noir 2008
(search item no. 109410)
boutique wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $41.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Freedom Hill Vineyard produces Pinot noirs with structure, depth, and richness as well as a strong sense of minerality. The site is relatively warm from daytime heat that rises up the large, flat valley below. This develops rich skin tannins. Because of its proximity to Oregon Coast range -it is on the edge of the Coast Range of mountains- the vineyard is quite cool at night. This maintains good acidity in the wine. This combination of tannin and acidity produces Pinot noir with great structure. Capturing that intensity and revealing the nuances of the terroir (clay-like earthiness, dried flowers, dark spices) without excess tannins is the key to making great Freedom Hill.

The 2008 has red and black cherry aromas with dark floral, ground spices, pepper and a strong undercurrent of minerality. Dark red fruits on the palate and its signature clay-like earthiness, it finishes with a backbone of ripe tannins and balanced acidity. Perfect for that Porterhouse or T-bone as well as roasts and big pasta dishes. It is best if opened and decanted at least an hour before drinking. Given the ideal ripening conditions in 2008 and the inherent structure of this site, it will benefit from aging up to a decade.

My Notes:

About 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.