St. Innocent Winery 2012 Zenith Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills, $42

By on September 25, 2014

st-innocent-zenith-vineyard-pinot-noir-2012-labelOwner/winemaker Mark Vlossak partnered with customers Tim and Kari Ramey in 2002 to purchase O’Connor Vineyard near Salem, Ore., which they’ve taken to great heights by transforming it into one of Oregon’s top sites. They’ve grown it to 80 acres of vines, including four clones of Pinot Noir — Pommard, Wadenswil, 115 and 777 — and this vintage marked the first time all of their blocks were deemed fit for this project since replanting because of phylloxera. A deft hand with oak shows with aromas of dark cherry, mocha espresso, baking spice, fresh tobacco and saddle leather. There’s delicious density to its flavors of dark plum, blackberry and boysenberry, which are met by pomegranate acidity, mild elderberry-skin tannins and tremendous length. Vlossak suggests decanting for 1-2 hours and serving it with lamb, pork or grilled salmon — or cellar as long as 15 years. Those looking for other food-and-pairing ideas should consider attending the Eradication by Mastication invasive species cook-off at Zenith Vineyard on Sunday, Sept. 28.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 1,310 cases

Alcohol: 14.2%

Winery website

About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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