95 point Oregon Pinot Noir: 2017 St. Innocent Temperance Hill

95 point Oregon Pinot Noir: 2017 St. Innocent Temperance Hill

In Vintage 2017, St. Innocent's Mark Vlossak crafted a stunner of a wine with his Temperance Hill Pinot Noir. This single vineyard, elevated site in the Eola-Amity Hills section of the Willamette Valley is beautifully perfumed, layered, complex, and powerful.

Rated 94 points by Vinous Media and 95 points by yours truly, I am offering this incredibly classy Pinot Noir up at one of the best prices in the country. We just took delivery on our distributor's remaining stock, and that ended up being 20 six-packs. 

St Innocent Temperance Hill Pinot Noir

2017 St. Innocent Pinot Noir 'Temperance Hill' 

95 points Yours Truly, 94 points Vinous Media, 93 points James Suckling

ORDER NOW in our online store. 

The "stingy-scoring" Josh Raynolds of Vinous Media loved this wine -- it was one of his top-scoring Willamette Pinots of the 2017 vintage. "Dark, bright-rimmed scarlet. Mineral-accented raspberry, cherry and exotic spice aromas are complemented by a potpourri note and a hint of smokiness. Shows impressive energy and definition on the palate, offering vibrant red berry, bitter cherry, rose pastille and spice cake flavors supported by a spine of smoky minerality. Finishes impressively long and taut, with an intriguing blood orange flourish and discreet tannins. Drink through 2030." Sounds good right? Trust me, it is!

In my never-ending attempt to keep you drinking the good stuff, this is the last time I'm going to warn you about the difficult 2020 Oregon Pinot Noir vintage. I have now tasted a number of wines from the vintage, and every single one of them has been afflicted with smoke-taint. Yep, the fires were raging out of control while the grapes were still on the vine that year, and the results are less than desirable. I will continue to hunt for earlier vintages, but I have pretty much exhausted my resources...

The Temperance Hill Vineyard is quite special. Planted in 1984, the site is certified organic, and Vlossak loved the quality of this wine in 2017. A cool summer allowed for slower ripening of the grapes, and harvest didn't occur until late September. The longer hang time on the grapes brought out more complex and intricate aromas and flavors. While there's plenty of ripe fruit, it's the complex floral and spice notes that really did it for me.

Overall, this is a very complete, cerebral, and delicious wine from one of Oregon's masters of Pinot Noir. While it is drinking beautifully now, it will continue to drink well and most likely improve a bit through 2030. Enjoy with salmon, lamb chops, or just about anything off the grill.

ORDER NOW in our online store. 

Josh Spurling
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville