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: 2007 was a challenging Oregon vintage. Bud break and bloom occurred “on time,” followed by a summer of above normal temperatures (over 100ºF). September was slightly below normal, setting up the possibility of long hang times. A series of rain fronts progressed weekly across Oregon’s vineyards, delaying harvest by two weeks or more. As flocks of migratory birds invaded the vineyards with each successive storm front, growers used bird netting for the first time. Harvest went in spurts in the dry windows between weekly weather events. Growers who thinned to lower yields and rigorously maintained spray schedules were rewarded with balanced and elegantly ripened fruit. It was possible, but not easy to pick with ripe tannins, layers of complex and subtle flavors and a solid backbone of acidity. Many of the white wines achieved significant critical acclaim; the best of the Pinot noir wines have benefited from bottle age and are expected to age very well.