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St. Innocent Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • WE94
  • JS92
  • RP91
13% ABV
  • W&S93
  • WS91
  • WE94
  • JS93
  • WS92
  • RP92
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • TP93
  • BH91
  • WS90
  • RP94
  • RP94
  • RP91
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4.2 7 Ratings
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4.2 7 Ratings
13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2013 Shea nose is dense with wild black cherry, black raspberry, cassis, dark rose, cola, and dark licorice aromas. The mouth is equally huge with dark, concentrated fruits, white pepper, dense floral, and roasted dark sweet spices. Hints of roasted coffee, dark dried fruits and flowers carry into its dark, broad, and surprisingly ripe and supple tannin draped finish that extends and lingers between sensual dark fruit and floral notes for more than a minute.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Dark, dense and detailed, this outstanding wine seamlessly layers wild berries, cedar, sandalwood and sassafras. It’s smooth and seductive, powerful and polished, with thick, ripe and fulsome tannins. Editors' Choice.
JS 92
James Suckling
Decadent aromas of strawberries, toffee and hints of smoked meat follow through to a medium to full body, soft tannins and a juicy finish. Very fine and soft.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard comes from vines planted between 2002 and 2005 in Block 6 within the vineyard. There is a ferrous tincture on the nose that infuses the red berry fruit, quite fresh vis-a-via St Innocent's other 2013 Pinot Noirs, a touch of gypsum emerging with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with redcurrant and cranberry notes, a fine backbone here with just the right amount of salinity on the structured finish. Give this a year or two in bottle and it should drink well for another decade.
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St. Innocent

St. Innocent Winery

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St. Innocent Winery, Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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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.

Yamhill-Carlton District

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Yamhill-Carlton, characterized by pastoral, rolling hills composed of shallow, quick-draining, ancient marine soil, is ideal for Pinot noir and other cool-climate-loving varieties. It is in the rain shadow of the Coastal Range to its west, whose highest point climbs to an altitude of 3,500 feet. Yamhill-Carlton is actually surrounded by mountains on three sides: Chehalem Mountains to the north, the Dundee Hills to the east and the western Coastal Range to its west, which, when it lets Pacific air through, serves to cool the region.

Vineyards grow on the ridges surrounding the two small communities of Yamhill and Carlton and cover about 1,200 acres of this 60,000 acre region, which roughly makes a horse-shoe shape on a map.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

MSW30146446_2013 Item# 147069