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St. Innocent Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002

Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • RP94
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Winemaker Notes

This wine is full of red and black fruit, dark flowers, and has lovely weight and length. It has the darkest components of all the wines produced from Shea Vineyard and has the structure to age. It reminds me a bit of the wines of Morey St.-Denis - lovely layered fruit and good concentration. It is a steal for its price.

The aroma of dark flowers and black raspberries is the first thing that strikes you as you smell our Shea. Next comes sweet red and black fruit flavors with hints of citrus, mint, red roses and violets. Fresh, bright fruit with great clarity, nice acidity, balanced smoky oak, and a long layered finish complete the package. It was described as 'sexy' by one writer.

Duck breast, lamb chops, or any course that emphasizes fresh, sweet flavors will bring out its purity and hedonistic qualities. Lovely while young, it will develop even more sweetness and layers over eight years.

Critical Acclaim

RP 94
The Wine Advocate

Black cherries and violets make up the aromatic profile of the 2002 Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard. This exceptional wine envelopes the palate with dense layers of gorgeously sweet black cherries, spices, and cloves. Seductive and sultry yet focused and precise, this medium to full-bodied beauty is big, ample, and decadent while remaining refined and detailed.

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St. Innocent

St. Innocent Winery

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St. Innocent Winery, , Oregon
St. Innocent
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.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions...

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley. Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types, and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow...

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

MLNSISHEAPN_2002 Item# 79187

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