The wine aged for 16 months in French oak barrels (31% new) and presents pronounced aromas of dark cherries, red raspberries with ground spices and hints of smoke. Layers of red and dark fruit dominate the palate with notes of roasted spices, dark flowers and forest floor flavors. This is a richly layered wine with complex flavors and medium weight tannins.
Wine Advocate 91 points - Dried cherry and cranberry tinged with ginger, white pepper, clove and resin make for a penetrating and pungent nose to the St. Innocent 2011 Pinot Noir Zenith Vineyard. The tartness of its red berries and tactile impingement of its spicy elements make for a similarly audacious palate presentation, which an emerging aura of holly berry distillate only encourages. The gripping, invigorating finish retains a welcome measure of refreshing primary juiciness; and unlike a good many other St. Innocent (or Zenith Estate) Pinots, this seems simply to slough-off its (ca. 30%) share of new oak. I suspect it will merit attention through at least 2020. (Oct 2013)
St. Innocent Winery was founded in 1988 by owner and winemaker Mark Vlossak. Mark’s interest and education in wine began early his father was a wine importer and Mark produced sparkling wine in 1985-87. He then apprenticed with Fred Arterberry, Jr. at Arterberry, Ltd from 1987-1988. In 1994, he was appointed winemaker at Panther Creek Cellars where he worked for five years before founding St. Innocent. St. Innocent produces small-lot, handmade wines in the Old World tradition in other words, wines intended to go with food. The estate vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills is planted to 16 acres planted to Pinot Nor. The winery also works closely with eight different growers, leasing specific blocks of vineyards to produce terroir-specific wines. A new winery at the Zenith Vineyard was completed in time for the 2007 harvest. This 17,500 sq. ft., four story, gravity facility features underground barrel rooms, a temperature controlled crush floor and a 900 sq. ft. tasting room.
|Zenith Vineyard is centrally located in the Eola-Amity Hills. The estate grown grapes come from two mature blocks planted with Pinot Noir clones 667 and 777 on a southwest facing hillside and a younger block facing southeast planted with Pommard clone on well draining silty loam at an average elevation of 280 feet. The de-stemmed grapes are fermented in small stainless tanks after two days of cold maceration.