St. Innocent Seven Springs Pinot Noir 2000
Its nose is dominated by wild, almost brambly fruits, and has significant hints of pumpkin pie spice, white pepper, and wild mushrooms. Initially the layered dark fruit flavors dominate, then spices and complex focused flavors follow into its long finish. This is wine for game and wild mushrooms - those wild and earthy flavors in the food bring out all the layers in this wine.
I suggest that you either drink Seven Springs when it is young (up to four years from vintage) or wait until it is at least eight years old. My rational is to either enjoy the freshness of the fruit or wait long enough for the aged flavors to develop. It will be worth the wait.This is the benchmark wine for St. Innocent. Multiple layers of wild black and red fruit, complex pie spice, white and black pepper and, with some age, truffles and farm aromas. Always at its best after 10-12 years. As with the other wines of 2000, the terroir is very transparent.
"Consumers should pay particular attention to Saint-Innocent's offerings. Not only are they some of the finest wines made in Oregon but they are among the most reasonably priced."
-The Wine Advocate
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.”