Right as IPNC kicks off in style, we wanted to share one of the outstanding Oregon producers of white wines and well as Pinot Noir. A man not needing any introduction, Mark Vlossak is the mastermind behind St. Innocent wines. I am always blown away with the pricing of his wines, which are probably lower than they should be. Mark’s masterful approach to white wines in particular amazes me every year. These wines are restrained, showing wonderful brightness and tension, and display a wonderfully fat texture, regardless of vintage. Formerly the winemaker for Panther Creek, Mark has a longstanding history in the Oregon wine industry as the first single vineyard Pinot Noir made by Mark dates back to 1989 from the O’Connor vineyard. In 2006 Mark set up his winery at that same site of his first single vineyard wine, which is now named the Zenith Vineyard. Mark’s Pinots typically have a wonderful combination of elegance and richness as well as earthy terroir.
I was blown away wit his 2017 St. Innocent ‘Vitae Springs Vineyard’ Pinot Gris (WWB, 94) which his one of the great Pinot Gris wines made in Oregon. is jam-packed full of fruit and has lovely weight and minerality. Similarly excellent is the 2015 St. Innocent ‘Freedom Hill Vineyard’ Chardonnay (WWB, 93) displaying dazzling tension and a silky texture. Learn more about these stunning wines at https://stinnocentwine.com Here are the great new releases by St. Innocent.
2016 St. Innocent ‘Freedom Hill Vineyard’ Chardonnay- The 2016 ‘Freedom Hill Vineyard’ is another terrific release from the talented Mark Vlossak of St. Innocent. The nose shows gorgeous wet stone character with wild mushroom, green apple and kumquat character that fill the nose. The palate has a wonderfully silky texture and a soft mouthfeel that entices. Vanilla cream, ripe pear, and a touch of toasty brioche with ripe apricot complete this simply gorgeous new Chardonnay. Drink 2019-2029- 93
2017 St. Innocent ‘Vitae Springs’ Pinot Gris- One of the great Pinot Gris bottling in Oregon, the 2017 ‘Vitae Springs’ Pinot Gris by St. Innocent is a dazzling new release. On the nose this shows really good range from sourdough bread to ripe Japanese pear to grassy tones that all fill the bouquet. The palate shows incredible texture and tension, with gobs of mouth-watering acidity that excite. Harmonious throughout with ripe pear, starfruit and brioche flavors, this is a complete wine that is one of the best of its kind that I have ever sampled. Simply put, this wine is a masterpiece. Drink 2019-2025- 94
2017 St. Innocent ‘Zenith Vineyard’ Auxerrois- One of the few Auxerrois bottling in Oregon, this one is absolutely sensational. There are light flinty tones to this wine that connect with the yeasty and melon aromatics that all combine nicely in the glass. The palate is refreshing and highly satisfying with its lovely texture and tension. Kumquat, wet stone and lighter earthy tones round out the palate, showing a bright minerality. Drink 2019-2024- 91
2017 St. Innocent ‘Villages Cuvee’ Pinot Noir- Sourced from a host of Willamette Valley vineyards, the ‘Villages Cuvee’ starts off with aromas of raspberry torte, ripe cranberry and citrus rind tones that all gather in the glass. The palate has good brightness and ripe red fruits with citrus rind tones and lighter earthy accents. Drink 2019-2024- 91
2015 St. Innocent ‘Freedom Hill Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- The 2015 ‘Freedom Hill Vineyard’ Pinot Noir is another stunning new bottling from the talented Mark Vlossak. On the nose this exudes class with teaberry, cherry preserves, cigar box and wild mushroom that all add wonderful complexity to the wine. The wine unveils a sumptuous mouthfeel and a dazzling minerality on the mid-palate, unveiling bright citrus rind with pomegranate seed and shades of white truffle. Highly complex and thrilling in the glass, this elegant and seamless wine will cellar well over the next fifteen to twenty years. Drink 2019-2035- 94
2016 St. Innocent ‘Temperance Hill Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- The gorgeous new 2016 ‘Temperance Hill Vineyard’ Pinot Noir shows a marvelous combination of richness and astringency from this warm vintage in the Willamette Valley. On the nose this begins with aromatics reminiscent of black tea, peat moss, wild blackberry and cran-orange, providing some serious range aromatically. The mouthfeel entices as black and red fruits dance with wet stone and earthy tones on the palate. Seriously good now this stunning new Pinot Noir will continue to evolve for the next fifteen to twenty years. Drink 2019-2035- 93