Burgundy and Bordeaux; two famous wine regions in France with different grapes, red and white. Back here in BC, you can grow the grapes from both regions and produce wine. Burgundy is famous for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, while Bordeaux for their blends, which may contain Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Carmenere. SpierHead Winery recently sent me a bottle of their Chardonnay 2012, Pinot Noir 2012, and their Pursuit 2011; all BC VQA wines to taste. I’ve enjoyed their wines from past tastings, and was looking forward to trying these, especially their limited production Pinot Noir.
My Wine Tasting Notes
SpierHead Chardonnay 2012 ($22.90) – This is a single vineyard wine, coming from their Gentleman Farmer Vineyard in southeast Kelowna. 30% is barrel aged for 10 months in French oak, while the remainder is fermented in stainless steel, so you should get the fruit and a light touch of oak/vanilla. The wine was a medium intensity, youthful aroma of tropical fruit, citrus, vanilla and hints of caramel and butter. Dry with medium mouth feel, medium plus acidity, and some roundness. Upon first tasting I would say it was about 50% tropical fruit and 50% pears. A nice mineral streak in the wine. Lemon and on the mid palate. The vanilla was there but was subdued. It had some astringency mid palate and finished with some butteriness, spice and acidity. On my second tasting of this wine about 6 hours later the spiciness really came out. This wine is an elegant wine, not overpowering you with fruit or oak. I would suggest pairing this with Roasted Chicken with Herb Jus or Scallops with Summer Squash. It comes in a screwcap so enjoy it now.
SpierHead Pinot Noir 2012 ($29.90) – Another single vineyard wine, also from the Gentleman Farmer Vineyard. But in addition, the wine maker selected the best barrels of their 3 Dijon clones, and only made 97 cases of this wine. This wine has a medium intensity nose with youthful and developing aromas of juicy raspberries, cherries, and vanilla, with nutmeg and liquorice behind the fruit. On initial tasting I picked up a slight herbal edge that went away on my later tasting. Dry with medium plus acidity, astringency, and quite mineral. Medium tannins, alcohol and medium minus body. Lots of sweet red cherries along with raspberry, red currant and red fruit, along with vanilla and a whiff of roses. A long lingering finish with cherries and roses, and lots of acidity.
On this initial tasting I thought, maybe this wine needs to age a bit so that the fruit and the high acidity will knit together, but the second tasting, the next day, proved me wrong. The wine was now very smooth, with the acidity/astringency in check. On the nose I picked up some smoky strawberry aromas. On the palate I detected some violets and tea leaves. The more I sipped this wine over time, the more I became enchanted with it. To get the best from this wine, please decant it for a few hours, and serve it slightly chilled (1/2 hour in the fridge before serving). I think with this acidity and the medium tannins, that grilled or baked salmon would be nice as would Chicken Chasseur (mushrooms and chicken in a tomato and white-wine sauce). Pinot Noir is a grape variety that can work with both seafood and lighter meat dishes. I also must mention the black logo, looks very classy and exudes authority.
SpierHead Pursuit 2011 ($23.90) – This a Bordeaux blend with 48% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc grapes coming from the Black Sage Road, Oliver. The wine was barrel aged 18 months in 100% French oak. Light intensity nose of candied cherries, cherries, black fruit and cloves. Dry with medium minus mouth feel. Some roundness with acidity support. The higher acidity and minerality gives this wine very bright red cherry flavour, along with black fruit, and a hint of strawberries and perfume. The acidity seemd to float on a plane above the fruit, but on my second tasting the acidity lower and was more integrated with the fruit. The wine has a slightly tannic finish together with some mouth watering acidity. On the second day, besides the lower acidity I picked up some black currant leaf and chocolate on the palate. The candied cherry aroma went away and left the cherries. Again, I think another wine that you could argue may taste better with a little decanting. If you have a sweet tooth, this wine does go well with milk chocolate. For a savoury dish try roast duck breast or beef tenderloin wrapped in bacon.
Other Reviews of SpierHead by MyWinePal
I have written other articles about SpierHead Winery’s wines, which you can link to below. Enjoy.