St. Innocent Freedom Hill Pinot Noir 2008
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.
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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.
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 Van Duzer Corridor and assists the maintenance of higher acidity in its grapes. This great concentration, combined with marked acidity, give the Eola-Amity Hills wines—namely Pinot noir—their distinct character. While the region covers 40,000 acres, no more than 1,400 acres are covered in vine.