Shea Vineyard Pinot noirs emphasize weight with good acidity, layered flavors, concentrated fruit, and terroir specific flavors. The Shea Pinot noirs Mark has produced consistently out-age wines from other sites. He also considers them to be the most complex and detailed wines he makes. The best wines of Burgundy are exceptionally detailed wines that age very well. If we apply that standard to Oregon, Shea is a great vineyard. Shea is actually two vineyards separated by a steep ravine. Both of the blocks used for St. Innocent are located in the East Field. Block 6 was planted in 1998 with Dijon clone 115 and a small amount of Pommard (11 rows). It lies on a long SE slope at about 600' in elevation. The Terrace Block faces SW, is planted with the Pommard clone, and gets its name from the terraces carved into its steep slope.
Vintage Notes: 2004 started out as a carbon copy of 2003, but thankfully cooled off and got needed rains in late August and then again in mid-September before most vineyards’ final ripening phase. What a difference some rain makes! Young and early vineyards that were almost ready to harvest the first week of September could have done without the rain, but the rest thought it a blessed relief and assured nutrient mobility in the vines. A short crop due to poor weather at set, extreme temperatures the prior vintage, and vineyard growth irregularities, plus growing season heat (2004’s Degree Day 2404 compared to 2003’s 2535 in McMinnville) make 2004 properly plump and extracted, but with restraint—average Brix down 1%. An interesting vintage—almost an average of 2001, 2002 and 2003, with perhaps a little more variability in reds and more structured, brighter whites similar to 2002.