1999 St. Innocent Pinot Noir Seven Springs Vineyard Willamette Valley Oregon. 13.6% alcohol. Burgundy Wine Company Selection, New York, NY. $35.00.
Deep red color, deep hue, no bricking, intense fruit and spice aroma and taste at the getgo, fading slowly over three hours in the glass, hints of earth at first in both aroma and taste, with the earthen notes becoming predominant over the same period, mild acidity, good tannins, well developed, medium to full mouth feel, good balance, long finish. Fascinating to see how each of the elements -- fruit, spice, earth, acidity and tannins changed over time. A very nice wine. 4*.
Notes: Jenise was kind enough to point out that a Henri Gouges Nuit St. Georges was Mark Vlossak's ephiphany wine; I had a 1993 Gouges on the previous evening and loved it. There were certainly similarities between the two styles; the major difference I found was that the Gouges was beatifully balanced from the very beginning with none of the components prominent, each seemed to be in equal balance over the three hours I dawdled over my glass. the Vlossak was in balance, but the components changed in quite remarkable ways -- it achieved that equality of components about an hour into the evening, and then after another hour the earthen notes started to predominate. Both were lovely wines. Next time I'll try a side by side tasting of Gouges/Vlossak wines.
I had hoped to try a somewhat older St. Innocent, but found that my two older bottles were both corked. An interesting discovery -- the first corked St. Innocents after 45 taint free bottles. My corked rate this year is running just under 9.4%.