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St. Innocent Freedom Hill Pinot Blanc 2009

Pinot Blanc from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • RP90
13.5% ABV
  • WE91
  • WE90
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 90
Robert Parker's 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.
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St. Innocent

St. Innocent Winery

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St. Innocent Winery, Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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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.

Eola-Amity Hills

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Running north to south, adjacent to the Willamette River, the Eola-Amity Hills AVA has shallow and well-drained soils created from ancient lava flows (called Jory), marine sediments, rocks and alluvial deposits. These soils force vine roots to dig deep, producing small grapes with great concentration. Like in the McMinnville sub-AVA, cold Pacific air streams in via the VanDuzer corridor and assists the maintenance of higher acidities in its grapes. This great concentration, combined with marked acidity, give the Eola-Amity Hills their distinct character. While the region covers 40,000 acres, no more than 1,400 acres are covered in vine.

Pinot Blanc

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Lightly aromatic, pleasantly soft, and always approachable, Pinot Blanc is best known in Alsace, where it is considered a workhorse variety that takes a backseat to the more complex Pinot Gris. A white mutation of Pinot Noir, it produces easy-drinking, enjoyable wines here. In Italy, as Pinot Bianco, it gets a little more complex, especially in the mountainous Alto Adige region. It is perhaps most successful as Weissburgunder in Germany and Austria, where the wines are subtle, delicate, surprisingly complex, and age-worthy. There is also some Pinot Blanc performing well in Oregon and cooler pockets of California.

In the Glass

Typically, Pinot Blanc has a relatively full body and expresses simple but pleasing aromas of crisp green apple, pear, citrus, and white flowers. The finest examples possess stony minerality and occasionally ripe stone fruit flavors, and with age can develop intriguing notes of honey, vanilla, and almond.

Perfect Pairings

Delicate Pinot Blanc works well with lighter fare such as salads, seafood, chicken, or turkey, but is truly at its best with Alsatian pairings like Hollandaise dishes, onion tarts, or the region’s notable soft cheeses such as Muenster.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Blanc’s delicate aromatics, full body, and moderate acidity make it a great alternative to the world’s most popular white wine. Anyone experiencing Chardonnay fatigue and looking to try something new would benefit from giving Pinot Blanc a try.

MSW70100091_2009 Item# 109408