St. Innocent Freedom Hill Pinot Noir 2016
The 2016 Freedom Hill is dark, almost opaque ruby red. The typical dark cherry and wet clay aromas are especially broad and complex. The palate is quite lively with concentrated fruits, dark flowers, roasted squash and hints of citrus peel. With all of the power on the palate, its finish is still fresh, bright, and clean. A beautiful vintage for enjoying now or into the future.
Pair this wine alongside richly flavored red meat entrees like steak, roast beef, duck and leg of lamb.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Attractive aromas of graphite and undergrowth here with a very attractively defined set of ripe red-cherries, as well as spice. The palate has very even-paced build with smooth, ripe tannins and plenty of fleshy, sweet, ripe cherries.
Medium ruby-purple, the 2016 Pinot Noir Freedom Hill Vineyard opens with cranberry sauce, blueberries, bergamot, dried flowers and orange peel with dusty earth and tree bark hints. It has a medium weight and perfumed fruits knit by grainy tannins and great freshness, finishing lifted.
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.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”