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: 2009 was an unusual vintage. Normally, the fruit grown in the northern Willamette Valley is fairly uniform in character over the 40 or so miles from the north end in the Chehalem Mountain AVA to the area just south of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. This was not true in 2009. The northern AVA's (Yamhill-Carlton, Dundee, and Ribbon Ridge) experienced significant cluster dehydration and lower acidity yielding intense and very fruit-dominated wines. AVA's to the south (McMinnville and Eola-Amity Hills) harvested 7-10 days later, had no significant dehydration and normal acidities, producing exceptionally balanced wines.