Spring has sprung, and hopefully, we will have a chance to enjoy it on our patios, 2m away from everyone else. I recently received three bottles of newly released wines from SpearHead Winery in Kelowna to kick-off Spring that will make self-isolation feel not too bad. Let me tell you about these three wines from the new 2019 vintage.
About 80% of their vineyards are composed of Pinot Noir across several different clones. Their winemaker Grant Stanley, who is well-known for producing excellent Pinot Noir wines at past wineries, is also producing great Pinots at SpearHead Winery.
My Wine Tasting Notes
SpearHead Winery Riesling 2019 – Besides Pinot Noir, SpearHead produces very good Rieslings, which I’ve reviewed before. This wine has 50% of the grapes whole-bunch pressed and 50% received 24-hour skin contact. The juice is ferment in stainless steel tanks at a cold temperature. This wine has is a bright medium-plus lemon colour. It has a lighter nose with aromas starting off with orange, peach and white flowers, but within 1-2 minutes the nose changes dramatically to tropical fruits, pine needles and citrus. It was quite amazing. With decanting the wine was primarily tropical fruit and oranges on the nose. This wine is dry and smooth with a lighter body. Medium acidity but no prickle on your tongue. Just some tartness. Tropical fruit and citrus, along with some green fruit. I also pick up some salty minerality and steeliness toward the finish. With decanting the wine tastes slightly off-dry, but also quite tart. I also get some peach flavour. I enjoy the salty minerality in this wine, making it more interesting on the palate. The wine has a medium-plus length finishing with tropical fruit and a touch of peach and some leafiness. With decanting you can add some green fruit and lime on the finish.
Rating: A solid Riesling with lots of tropical fruit and citrus aromas and flavours. Minerality adds some complexity on the palate as well. Buy some now but should age well for at least 5 years.
SpearHead Winery White Pinot Noir 2019 – This is the third year that SpearHead has released this wine. The grapes are whole-bunch pressed with minimal skin contact so that you get a white wine from red-skinned grapes. The cold settled juice is fermented in small stainless steel tanks. This wine has a bright medium intensity lemon colour with a slight green tint. It has a pronounced youthful nose showing a mix of lime, stone fruits and white flowers, and a touch of oranges. This wine is dry with higher acidity, fuller body and pronounced flavour intensity. Although it has higher acidity this wine is very round and has a nice silky mouthfeel. Lots of ripe stone fruits, tart citrus and oranges with some apple toward the finish. Also some stoniness but not too prominent.
Within a short 5 minutes of time in the glass, the flavours were quickly evolving into tropical fruits. The stony minerality is joined with salty minerality. Acidity provides the structure to this wine. It has a longer lingering stone fruit and citrus finish with a touch of pepperiness and tannins. Buy this wine; it’s delicious. BC fresh fruit in a glass. No decanting needed.
Rating: – A delicious, delicate wine with stone fruits, citrus and white flowers on the nose and a mix of stone fruit and tropical fruit flavours, along with some minerality.
SpearHead Winery Pinot Noir Rosé 2019 – This wine is the result of their second sorting as they prepare for their red wine harvest. They selectively pick a combination of fruit sourced from areas that produce grapes with higher natural acidity and using juice from the White Pinot Noir process that had a little too much colour extraction. The grapes are destemmed and crushed into small stainless steel tanks where they are cold-soaked with their skins for 48 hours to get the rose colour and light phenolics. The must is then pressed, settled and cold fermented. This wine is a bright, clear rhubarb red colour in the glass. It has a light intensity nose showing rhubarb, red currants, strawberries, and other sweet ripe fruit aromas. You get more red fruit aromas with decanting. The wine is slightly off-dry, with light acidity. It is almost round with some angularity. The acidity provides liveliness to this wine without being too tart. You get light flavours of tart red cherries and other red fruits and a touch of floral. With decanting the wine became rounder and softer in the mouth and added some candied red cherry flavours. There is also some rhubarb flavour along with more red cherries toward the end and a touch of pepperiness. Decanting makes the rhubarb flavour a bit stronger on the finish. It has light drying tannins on the finish. A delicious, delicate wine. No need to decant.
Rating: – A delicate rose. It has a light red fruit nose with mainly red cherries, a touch of floral and other red fruits on the palate. Quite tasty.