St. Innocent Freedom Hill Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2018
The 2018 Freedom Hill is deep ruby-red color. It has a very spice driven nose with dark cherry, plum, and white pepper. The mouth is an explosion of dark fruits, punctuated by bright acidity followed by sweet, savory spices, smoky oak and rich fruit tannins. This is a big wine that will enjoy some time in the glass and hearty dishes. It should also age beautifully.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Vivid garnet. Boysenberry, cherry liqueur, exotic spice and floral scents are energized by a building mineral quality. Sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering concentrated red and blue fruit, spice cake, lavender pastille and licorice flavors that turn livelier with air. Gently chewy tannins frame the long, juicy finish, where the floral and spice notes return. Best After 2022
A solid core of berry and plum fruit with some cooked-strawberry and candied-lemon undertones throughout. It’s full and solid with slightly chewy tannins and a tangy finish. A little austere now. Two or three years of bottle age will help. Best after 2024.
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.”