Wine of the Day August 23, 2014

2000StInnocentPN2000 St. Innocent, Pinot Noir, Seven Springs Vineyard, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
Mark Vlossak has been making great Oregon Pinot since the late Eighties with his St. Innocent Winery, based in Salem in the Willamette Valley, remarkably he and his wines still fly under the radar and they are some of the best values in Pinot Noir in the world, bar none. Recently, a winemaker friend pulled a bottle from his own cellar and handed it off to me, and which I shared with my mum, this bottle was absolutely brilliant, glorious and mind-blowing with texture, grace and depth, it is hard to imagine a wine being better or more pleasing at nearly 14 years old and from a vintage no one really rated highly, this is special stuff, no question. St. Innocent makes up to 6 different vineyard select wines each vintage, I’m always a fan of Shea and Temperance Hill, but all are superb wines with Zenith, Momtazi, Freedom Hill and Justice Vineyard being the other current Cru wines here. Sadly, after the take over by Evening Land, Mark was not able to get Seven Springs Vineyard one of Oregon’s true Grand Cru sites, making these older Seven Springs wines that much more exotic and rare. This vineyard is set in Eola-Amity Hills on a perfect palate of soils and with just the right exposure, with a volcanic mix known as Jory and old vines mostly own rooted Pommard clone it provided Mark in 2000 glorious fruit and the wine is showing fantastic now in 2014. The 2000 St. Innocent Seven Springs is still youthful in the glass with a dark ruby hue, no signs of age in the color and a fresh grapey dynamic on the palate with a cascade of red and black fruits including plum, currant, black cherry and brambly mountain berry along with notes of chanterelle, oyster shell, flinty mineral and anise with hints of cedar, saline and faint char that is like a ghost of oak shading. The tannin is silky having melded in perfectly over the years and the acidity is lifting still and provides a juicy framework, this is beautiful and elegant Pinot Noir that is majestic from start to finish, drink now and over the next 3 to 5 years, it is sublime. Note to self, get some St. Innocent 2012 to put away!
($45-60 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive