St. Innocent, Willamette Valley (Oregon) Chardonnay Freedom Hill Vineyard 2018

($36):  The Freedom Hill Vineyard, located in the foothills of the Coast Range ten miles southwest of Salem, benefits from the warmth of the valley floor (which aids ripening) and night time ocean breezes (which lower temperatures and allows grapes to hold acidity).  The vines date from 2006.  The Freedom Hill Vineyard’s location, soil, and vine age are undoubtedly important in determining this wine’s quality.  Yet, having tasted St. Innocent’s wines over the years, I have a feeling that the talent of Mark Vlossak, owner and winemaker, is really the key.  This Freedom Hill Vineyard Chardonnay displays a wonderful balance of ripeness and raciness.  You feel the mellowing effect of oak aging without tasting the oak.  This is a splendidly sleek Chardonnay.
93 Michael Apstein Aug 31, 2021