2013 St. Innocent "Villages Cuvée" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1227928 91 points Wine & Spirits

 There’s a sumptuous oak character to this pinot, a blend drawn largely from Eola–Amity Hills sources including Zenith, Mark Vlossak’s estate vineyard. It takes a day for that nutty graham-cracker sweetness to recede, and when it does, some beautiful fruit is revealed, dark, concentrated and grippy. This needs a year in the cellar to knit.  (10/2015)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A blend of young fruit and parcels adjacent to the Pinot Gris, the 2013 Pinot Noir Villages Cuvée comes from six vineyards (there are usually four) and sees a judicious 14% new oak. It has an attractive bouquet with red cherries and raspberry scents: simple but true. The palate is medium-bodied with light tannin, dark plum and raspberry at its core with a generous dash of cracked black pepper on the finish. While I would have preferred more complexity, one cannot argue at that price and it should be one to quaff with pleasure over the next 3 or 4 years. (NM)  (3/2015)


 Vivid red. Fresh raspberry and candied rose aromas are complemented by suggestions of spicecake and musky herbs. Spicy and incisive on the palate, offering intense red fruit and peppery spice flavors that slowly gain sweetness with air. This juicy, focused, nicely balanced Pinot Noir has the structure to reward at least a few more years of patience. (JR)  (10/2015)

Wine Enthusiast

 Fruit from six vineyards that comprise the winery’s vineyard-designate series is blended into this village cuvée. At first it seems stiff, almost severe, remaining tightly wound for hours. Gradually the fruit emerges, with rhubarb, cranberry and raspberry notes, and highlights of citrus rind in a high-acid finish.  (12/2015)

Wine Spectator

 Light and tangy, with a nice zip of acidity enlivening the cherry and black tea flavors. Finishes with modest intensity but real persistence. Drink now through 2019.  (5/2015)

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Price: $24.99
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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.

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.


- 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.