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St. Innocent Winery

Owner(s) Mark Vlossak
Web site www.stinnocentwine.com
 
Link to this site
St. Innocent Winery

St. Innocent is a well-established (1988) and prestigious maker of Pinot Noir with a winery based in Salem, Oregon. The winemaker, Mark Vlossek, makes age worthy, vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs from estate (133 acres owned) and leased vineyards. Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc round out the white varietals. The name, St. Innocent, is in honor of Mark's father, John Innocent Vlossak, who introduced his son to the pleasures of fine wine.

The winemaking emphasizes wine's place at the dinner table: complex and balanced flavors, a backbone of good acidity, and the ability to reveal complex layers with aging. Vlossak uses larger fermenters, 4 to 8 ton vessels, to better control the temperature of his ferments and allow him to tone done the fruitiness that comes with cool fermentations.

In 2006, St. Innocent Winery joined with Tim and Kari Ramey as partners in Zenith Vineyard (formerly O'Connor Vineyard) in the Eola Hills of Salem, Oregon. St. Innocent's new winery and Zenith's wedding and event facility are surrounded by vineyards like Justice, Temperance Hill and Zenith.

Yearly wine production is 10,000 cases. The wines are sold on the website and enjoy good retail distribution in some states.

Reviewed Wines

2010 St. Innocent Temperance Hill Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 583 cases, $28. From blocks planted in 1984 and 1995. Yields 1.5 tons per acre. 100% de-stemmed, 2-day cold soak, aged 16 months in 32% new French oak, bottled unfined. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherries and toasty oak. Elegant, yet offering some richness of red fruit flavor underpinned with notes of tea and tarry oak. Round and polished, soft in the mouth, finishing with a dark cherry bonus. Becomes more expressive over time in the glass indicating decanting is beneficial at this early stage. Good (+). Reviewed September 12, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 St. Innocent Zenith Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 704 cases, $30. Clones 777 and 667 from older blocks and young vine Pommard. Yields 1.4 tons per acre. 100% de-stemmed, 2-day cold soak, aged 16 months in 40% new French oak, bottled without fining. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy nose initially, opening slowly over time to reveal inviting aromas of black plum, blackberry and subtle oak. Middleweight flavors of dark red and black berries, backed by well-proportioned firm tannins, finishing with a pleasing note of raspberries. Very soft in the mouth with seamless balance. Will benefit from further bottle age. Very Good. Reviewed September 12, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 St. Innocent Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 922 cases, $36. Yields 2.6 tons per acre. 100% de-stemmed, 2-day cold soak, aged 16 months in 35% new French oak, bottled without fining. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure aromas of red berries, bramble, spice and oak. Tasty core of dark red cherries, berries and pomegranates, nicely spiced and somewhat savory with complimentary oak in the background. On the lighter side, but displays very charming fruit framed by bright acidity, finishing with noticeable length. Very good. Reviewed September 12, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 St. Innocent Villages Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 2,640 cases, $20. 54% Vitae Springs Vineyard with fruit from young vines elsewhere (22% Zenith Vineyard and 24% Momtazi Vineyard). 2- day cold soak, fermented in stainless steel tanks, aged 12 months in 15% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. Winemaker Mark Vlossak. · Moderately colored in the glass. Dark red fruit aromas are buried in scents of wood shed, oak and brier with a whiff of alcohol evident. Red-fruited on the modest palate with a savory bent and oak in the background. Very soft in the mouth with adequate tannic support. Decent. Reviewed April 11, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 St. Innocent Freedom Hill Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Blanc

13.5% alc., 605 cases, $20. Planted in 1993. Fermented 31% in barrel and 69% in tank. Aged 8 months sur lies. · Light straw color in the glass. Delicate aromas of lemon curd and pastry cream. Demure flavors of citrus, peach, green apple and a hint of oak. Oregon does well with this grape and this is a fine example. Good. Reviewed November 24, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 St. Innocent Vitae Springs Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Gris

13.0% alc., 752 cases, $20. Vitae Springs was established in 1986 and is located 5 miles south of Salem. Tank fermented, aged 8 months sur lie, and lightly filtered. No oak. · Light straw color. Aromas of white orchard fruits and a hint of pineapple. The flavors echo the aromas with added notes of spice and lychee. Welcoming richness and persistence. One of Oregon’s best examples of this variety. Very good. Reviewed November 24, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 St. Innocent Villages Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $27. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Develops slowly in the glass revealing charming aromas of raspberries and cherries with hints of smoky oak and spice. Vivid cranberry and cherry fruit flavors that are a bit tart due to hi-tone acidity. On the delicate side, with supple tannins, making it easy to drink. Good. Reviewed November 24, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 St. Innocent Temperance Hill Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 656 cases, $30. The vineyard is ten miles northwest of Salem, OR. Sourced from blocks planted in 1984 and 1995 on thin basalt soil. Yields 1.6 tons/acre. · The nose draws you in with a perfume of dark berry fruits, rose petals and subtle oak char. Soft and sensual in the mouth with layers of flavor including tastes of red and purple fruits, cola, tar, brown spice, root beer and herbs. A thread of oak runs thru. Elegantly styled and alluring, but needs time to open in the glass. The label advises decanting now and I agree completely. An excellent cellar candidate that will reward patience. Very good. Reviewed August 7, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 St. Innocent Temperance Hill Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 656 cases, $32. The vineyard is 10 miles northwest of Salem. Sourced from blocks planted in 1984 and 1995. Yields 1.6 tons per acre. · The nose draws you in with a perfume of dark berry fruits, rose petals and oak char. Soft and sensual in the mouth with layers of flavor including tastes of dark berries, black cherries, plum, cola, tar, brown spice, root beer and herbs. A thread of oak runs through which needs time to integrate. Underlain with bright acidity. Elegantly styled and alluring, but needs time to open in the glass. The label advises decanting now and I agree completely. An excellent cellar candidate that will reward patience. Very good. Reviewed November 24, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 St. Innocent Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $42. From Block 6 planted in 1998 and 2000 on shallow Willakenzie soil. Yields were 2.0 tons per acre. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 16 months in 39% new French oak barrels. · Deep, dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is reluctant and has not come together but offers some charms of black fruits, oak, loam and red rose petals. Dense flavors of black currents, blackberries, black cherries and edible flowers with flamboyant ripe tannins. Not giving now but has a big heart and a welcoming silky smooth mouth feel. Give this one at least 4 to 5 years in the cellar to integrate the tannins and show off the nuances of this vineyard. Very good. Reviewed November 24, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 St. Innocent White Rose Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $60. · Moderate reddish-purple color. Shy but lovely perfume of fresh pie cherries with a sniff of smoky oak. An immensely satisfying wine offering delicious black cherry and berry flavors with a hint of citrus peel in the background. Amazing persistence of cherry essence on the finish. Silky in the mouth with balanced supple tannins. This wine really grabs your attention. You can drink it now but it will get even better over time. Reviewed November 24, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 St. Innocent Villages Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $22. · Very enticing nose of cherry and berry fruits, nicely spiced with a wooded forest note as well. On the palate the melange of strawberries, raspberries and cranberries is light in weight but tasty augmented by a tinge of oak, herbs and spice. An ethereal wine with a velvety texture and a dry, refreshing finish. Always a dependable and excellent value wine from St. Innocent. Decent (+) Reviewed November 29, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 St. Innocent Villages Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 2,043 cases, $25. A blend of grapes sourced from Vitae Springs, Freedom Hill, and Zenith vineyards cropped at 1.2 to 2.7 tons per acre. Young plantings are blended with a consistent Pinot Noir base wine from both old and new blocks of the Vitae Springs Vineyard. In Oregon and through the St, Innocent tasting room, this cuvée is entirely from Vitae Springs Vineyard but the cuvée sold in other United States markets contains 80% of Vitae Springs Vineyard with some Zenith Vineyard and Freedom Hill added in. Aged 13 months in 20% new French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. Winemaker Mark Vlossak is at the top of his game. · The wine’s aromatics build in the glass and really erupt over time, always a sign of a superior wine. The nose offers scents of fresh cherries and raspberries kissed by oak and spice. Cherry driven flavors with a floral and citric accent are offered in an elegant style that is light and harmonious. The winemaking pedigree shows through in this very good wine that will hold on and drink well for another 4 or 5 years. At $252 a case, this is a perfect choice for recession slumdogs. Reviewed March 26, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 St. Innocent Vitae Springs Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Gris

13.5% alc., 783 cases, $17. Tall Alsatian bottle. Vineyard established in 1986. Located 5 miles south of Salem in Jory clay soil average 400 feet elevation. Tank fermented, 8 months on lees, lightly filtered. · Moderately yellow color. Terrific scent of yellow fruits, apple tart and lemon curd. Very tasty wine crafted in the Alsatian style. Ripe, intense flavors of pears, cooked apples and roasted hazelnuts with a subtle petrol note. The texture is creamy and everything is in perfect harmony. This impressive wine shows what Oregon Pinot Gris can achieve. The best Pinot Gris I have ever had from Oregon. Reviewed March 26, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 St. Innocent Momtazi Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 413 cases, $40. The Momtazi Vineyard is located in the McMinnville AVA and is farmed biodynamically. This wine is sourced from three blocks planted in 1999 and 2004. Aged 16 months in 35% new oak. Unfined and unfiltered. · The nose sports bright black cherries, lavender and a hint of alcohol. Dense and dark fruit core with grilled meat and tar, and substantial tannins. A bit disjointed now and reserved, this wine deserves a few years in the cellar but it will always show plenty of alcohol. Reviewed September 15, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 St. Innocent Shea Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 923 cases, $40. From a block of Shea Vineyard planted in 1990 on shallow Willakenzie soil. Yields 1.9 tons/acre. 100% de-stemmed, 1-2 day cold maceration, fermented in two small tanks, aged 16 months in 35% new French oak, unfined and unfiltered. Mark Vlossek is the winemaker. · Comforting scents of strawberry and raspberry jam with baking spices and herbs. Vigorous flavor and character with oodles of rich, dark red berry and cherry fruit, musk, and raw beef with a healthy tannic backbone and a relatively long finish. Put this one away and forget about it for a few years and you will be rewarded. Reviewed September 15, 2008 ARTICLE »

2004 St. Innocent Shea Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 875 cases, $38. St. Innocent is a well-established and prestigious maker of Pinot Noir with a winery based in Salem, Oregon. The winemaker, Mark Vlossek, recommends decanting this wine when young although he feels it is drinkable upon release. The wine is sold out at the winery, but may be available in the retail market. · I found this to be a very fine Pinot Noir. The nose was complex with darker fruits, some vanillin from oak, a touch of funk and alcohol. There was a very nice fruit spectrum with soft tannins, a very soft mouth feel and an enduring finish. Beautifully balanced and the real deal. Reviewed February 12, 2007 ARTICLE »

2000 St. Innocent Cremant Willamette Valley Sparkling Wine

12.9% alc.. · Slightly sweet, but a very decent, if simple, drink. Reviewed March 27, 2007 ARTICLE »

1998 St. Innocent Seven Springs Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc.. · A surprisingly youthful wine with too much tannin on the back end for me. Some tasters felt it could improve and soften with additional aging. Certainly built to age, but I think it will always retain a certain edginess. There was plenty of high-quality cherry and raspberry fruit on the palate. Reviewed March 27, 2007 ARTICLE »