This is a complex wine that reflects the heat of the afternoon sun, the cool, windy evenings, and the rustic soils of the McMinnville hills while retaining the dark beauty of its intense, ripe fruit. It is aromatically complex with layers of blue and black fruit, Indian spices, coffee hints, and pepper. In the mouth the blue/black fruit flavors and eastern spice notes are layered with a "sauvage" sense of wildness. Texturally layered, its flavors vary in intensity and quality over your tongue and palate. Ample ripe tannins balance with its acidity.
Momtazi Vineyard is located in the McMinnville AVA, 7 miles west of McMinnville, Oregon. Planted in 1999 and 2004 on thin, poor soils, the vines have a south and SW exposure at an elevation of 680-760'. The vineyard is certified biodynamic by Demeter. In 2006 I approached Moe Momtazi and asked if St. Innocent could contract for Pinot noir fruit from his bio-dynamically farmed vineyard. From my first trip to France in 1998, I observed that the greatest domaines in both Burgundy and Alsace had one thing in common: they farmed bio-dynamically.
The de-stemmed grapes were fermented in small stainless steel and Burgundy oak fermenters. After gently pressing and settling the wine aged in French oak barrels, 28% which were new, for 16 months before bottling by gravity.
The 2014 season began with sunny and warm spring weather. Bloom occurred in the second week of June, about 10-14 days earlier than normal. Good weather during bloom set a normal to large crop requiring thinning at about half of our vineyard sites where we removed 20-50% of the clusters. The summer continued to be warm with more 90o+ days than normal. July was humid, increasing the mildew pressure requiring extra vigilance in the vineyard. We began the harvest for our Oeil de Perdrix on September 12, Chardonnay on the 17th and the first Pinot noir on the 19th, picking 33 tons in just one day. The last Pinot noir from Temperance Hill Vineyard arrived on 10/8 and the final Pinot blanc from Freedom Hill Vineyard arrived on 10/10. 2014 was our largest harvest ever, picking 240 tons and making 13,200 cases of wine. In general, the fruit was clean, ripe, and very flavorful creating bright, pleasurable wines.
Food Pairing Notes
Braised meats, roasts, mushrooms or dishes with eastern spices