2010 St. Innocent "Villages Cuvée" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1087800 90 points Wine Spectator

 Light and velvety, this is appealing for a savory edge that gives the black cherry flavors more depth, floating easily through the refined finish. Offers length and intensity without weight. Drink now through 2018. 2,250 cases made. (Web Only- 2012)

Allen Meadows - Burghound

 The St. Innocent Winery was founded in May 1988 by Mark Vlossak, the current winemaker and president, along with eight investors. In 2006, St. Innocent purchased an interest in Zenith Vineyard (formerly O'Connor Vineyard) located in the Eola-Amity Hills, where the winery is located. This 133 acre site has 81 acres planted. They now have a total of 13.5 acres of pinot planted at the estate for their exclusive use and which will allow them to produce 1,800 cases of estate pinot beginning in 2012. I have always admired Vlossak's work but it really seems as though he has upped his game to new levels of quality in the last few vintages. And this group of '09s is seriously impressive and many of the wines are well worth your consideration.  (10/ 2011)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Based on Vitae Springs fruit with that of younger vines in Momtazi, Zenith, and (to a tiny extent) Freedom Hill vineyards, the St. Innocent 2010 Pinot Noir Villages Cuvee features juicy red currant and cranberry laced with citrus oils and baking spices for a firm, sappy, vivacious performance that finishes strongly, if with a persistently tart edge that some tasters may find excessive. At around 25% new oak, this received more than usual for instances of this cuvee simply - says Vlossak - because it had been ordered and then the yields came in pathetically low. No matter: the oak is well-enough integrated. Enjoy this over the next several years.  (8/ 2012)

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Price: $21.99

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Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

Oregon

- Highly touted for its Pinot Noirs, Oregon is part of the up-and-coming winemaking industry in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Most of Oregon is directly affected by the climate coming off of the Pacific Ocean, giving it mild winters and wet summers. This makes it a difficult place to ripen grapes, but some say that the harder grapes have to struggle, the more complex they will turn out to be. Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are two important and successful grapes grown in Oregon.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5