St. Innocent Zenith Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2010

A striking, but simple label. A memorable name. A location far removed from most other Willamette Valley wineries.

I doubt that St. Innocent’s name has anything to do with its Salem, Oregon location, but that’s how I remember it. “I’m innocent!” the alleged witch pleads. And yes, I know that THAT Salem is in Massachusetts, but this is how my mind works.

I don’t recall where I first had a St. Innocent Pinot Noir, but I remember being captivated. Really bright red fruit – cherries and strawberries. Plush tannins. High acidity. Refreshing and beautiful.

At this stage, I know that quality Oregon pinot noir can age well. This is just the latest example.

Pale ruby color, just the faintest of garnet at the rim. Very pronounced red fruit flavors, violets and light cedar and cinnamon aromas. A bit of Cherry Cola.

In the mouth, just delicious. Really beautiful, velvety, still very nice fruit, but that extra special something that age can provide: leather, mushrooms, leaves. And the wine still has wonderful length, with waves of flavors. I want to call in sick for work tomorrow, sit in my La-Z-Boy and finish this bottle while reading a novel.

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