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St. Innocent White Rose Pinot Noir 2002

Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • RP91
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

This is our second vintage from White Rose. Located on a ridge above and to the west of Domaine Drouhin Oregon, it is our only Red Hills of Dundee vineyard site. The vineyard is owned by Greg Sanders and was planted in the early 1980's. Our grapes come from a two-acre block at the base of the vineyard planted with the Pommard clone of Pinot noir. Although it is our highest altitude site, it is also one of our ripest. This is our smallest lot of Pinot noir and, in 2001, was our first to sell out. In 2002, our yields were 25% lower, resulting in an even greater concentration of flavor.

Its nose is full of white and red flowers and sweet red fruit that invites you back again and again. The flavors are layered and complex, covering your tongue with fruit and dark flowers. The 2002 is more complex and more expressive than the previous vintage. It reminds me of Barbaresco in a ripe year - like 1996. Match it with almost any red wine food, it would be very good with leg of lamb or seared fois gras. While very drinkable in its youth, I believe that this wine will develop over 8 years.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

EPCSITPNW_2002 Item# 79188

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