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St. Innocent Pinot noir Justice Vineyard 2010
Justice Vineyard fulfills its promise in its tenth year with the supple nature of this beautifully textured Pinot. Hugely aromatic, ripe, fleshy wild strawberry flavors burst on the palate, picking up a wave of fat black cherries. Flecks of crushed rose petal and truffled, creamy earth add a nice wild streak. The mouth coating texture and rich, expressive fruit meld with delicate, nuanced layers of flowers and spice.
On a food & wine note, Justice Vineyard Pinots have a reputation for pairing well with many different types of food. In particular, Justice Pinots complement the traditional cuisine of Burgundy. The vineyard's wines are usually immediately drinkable but also cellar well for up to a decade.
St. Innocent owner and winemaker Mark Vlossak spotted the Justice Vineyard early, sensing the site's potential for growing exceptional grapes. Ten years on, his prescience has proven correct.
Justice Vineyard is owned by Bethel Heights Winery, located in the Eola Hills, just below Bethel Heights winery, 11 miles northwest of Salem, Oregon. The Pinot noir was planted in 2001 on a hillside of volcanic Jory soil in the NW corner of the vineyard. In 2004 St. Innocent received their first crop from Justice Vineyard, when the vines were 4 years of age. It is farmed by one of Oregon's best grape growers, Ted Casteel.
2010 Wine Advocate - 91 points - From a breezy site that, unusually, features both marine sedimentary and rock-laced basalt-based soils, the St. Innocent 2010 Pinot Noir Justice Vineyard weighs in at a mere 12.7% alcohol. Fresh cherry complemented by almond paste and vanilla informs a silken yet persistently vivacious palate, leading to a long, vibrant finish in which toasty nut oils, black tea, and savory, saline, marrow-rich beef stock offer striking counterpoint to the bright, spicy cast that otherwise informs this bottling. I suspect this will be well worth following for ten or a dozen years. - David Schildknecht
2009 Vintage Tasting Notes
The 2009 Justice Vineyard Pinot noir complements a wide variety of rich meat and vegetable dishes, especially those with grilled or spicy preparations. This wine will cellar well for eight years.
2009 Wine Advocate - 91 points - The 2009 Pinot Noir Justice Vineyard (owned by nearby Bethel Heights) exhibits a particularly expressive nose of exotic spices, balsam wood, incense, and assorted red and black fruits. Smooth-textured, relatively forward, and built for pleasure, this nicely balanced, lengthy Pinot will provide optimum drinking through 2019. - Jay Miller
2009 Tanzer - 92 points - Bright red. Exotically perfumed, expressive aromas of fresh red berries and flowers, with Asian spice and potpourri notes and a deeper vanillin quality in the background. Silky, seamless and focused, offering lively raspberry and cherry flavors and notes of allspice and star anise. Clean and lithe on the finish, where the red fruit and floral notes repeat strongly. This puts on weight with air and has the balance to age. - Josh Raynolds
This pinot complements a wide variety of rich meat and vegetable dishes, especially those with grilled or spicy preparations. This wine will cellar well for eight years.
2008 Vintage Tasting Notes
The 2008 Justice Vineyard Pinot noir has layered spice aromas of ginger and cloves with dark berries and hints of roasted chilies. The mouth is powerful and nuanced with red and black berries, fruit cobbler, rich pie spices and strawberry preserves. It has a signature viscosity, an almost creamy quality that extends and enriches the mouthfeel and prolongs its finish.
It is a great match for chops, grilled meats, salmon, wild game, and a wide variety of risotto and pasta dishes. Drink over the next few years or age up to a decade and watch it evolve. - the winery
2007 Vintage Tasting Notes
Although only in its seventh leaf, this wine has a breadth of texture and flavor layers that indicate very great potential as the vines achieve maturity. This Pinot noir complements sweet meat entrees - salmon, lamb chops, pork tenderloin and filet. When served young, this wine is best opened 1-2 hours before serving. It is drinkable at release and will benefit from aging up to 8 years. - the winery
2006 Vintage Tasting Notes
The St Innocent Justice Vineyard Pinot noir 06 has ripe, fleshy wild strawberries flavors that burst on the palate, picking up a wave of fat black cherries. Flecks of crushed rose petal and truffled, creamy earth add a nice wild streak. The mouth coating texture and rich, expressive fruit meld with the delicate nuances, making the 06 Justice the Sophia Loren of the bunch. It's straight up sexy.
2006 Wine Advocate - 92 points - The 2006 Pinot Noir Justice Vineyard has slightly darker fruit including black cherry and black raspberry. Sweet, complex, and savory, this nicely concentrated, well-balanced wine will provide pleasure over the next eight years. - Jay Miller
2005 Vintage Tasting Notes
We fawned over the new Justice. One taste and it's easy to see why: the silky sweet fruit just plants itself on the middle of your palate. Blackberry balanced with high-toned red fruit and a ribbon of smoke and clove. The finish sails…and you're still thinking of those flavors on your tongue. Justice Vineyard is the newest Estate vineyard of Bethel Heights. - Marcus
Mark Vlossak says: "It is unusual and very attractive for Pinot noir to have primary spice aromas. The 2005 Pinot noir, Justice Vineyard has clove and cinnamon aromas along with lush red fruits. The clove notes carry into the mouth along with raspberry and black raspberry fruits with concentrated fruit notes carrying into its finish. One of the most unique facets of Justice Pinot noirs is the way its flavors coat your mouth with an almost creamy texture that reaches into your cheeks. All of this is enhanced by a lovely backbone of fresh acidity."
2004 Vintage Tasting Notes
This Pinot noir complements sweet meat entrees - lamb chops, filet, grilled salmon. When served young, this wine is best opened 1-2 hours before serving . It is drinkable at release and will benefit from aging up to 5 years.
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