A Chardonnay and Pinot Gris from Spearhead Winery You Need to Try

SpearHead Winery and vines

What do you know about Chardonnay Clone 95? It is originally from Burgundy, and is grown by Spearhead Winery in Kelowna, BC. Clone 95 makes full-bodied, intensely flavoured, medium yield Chardonnay clusters. Spearhead Winery barrel ferments this wine in 100% French oak, 40% new, and ages it on it’s lees for 10 months and undergoes a partial malolactic fermentation. You are going to get a big buttery, full flavoured wine as my notes show below. Their Pinot Gris is 90% cold fermented in stainless steel, and 10% fermented in 2-year-old French oak barrels. So a lighter, more fresh fruit flavours in the glass. 

Would you think that the bigger oaked Chardonnay would benefit from decanting, or the medium bodied Pinot Gris fermented primarily in stainless steel?  My review and answer to the question is below.

My Tasting Notes

Spearhead Chardonnay Clone 95 2018 (BC $30) – this wine has a bright, medium plus intensity lemon colour. Medium intensity ripe tropical fruit, roasted pears, vanilla and medium toasty oak. Also a whiff of ganja on the nose.  With decanting the intensity on the nose was a little bigger and you can add a butterscotch aroma.  It is dry, with lower acidity but full bodied to start and lots of flavour. Round and buttery smooth on the mouth. Ripe tropical fruits, butterscotch and light toasted oak flavours. Interestingly it has a lighter mouthfeel mid-palate to the finish. No real changes with decanting other than adding a touch of nutmeg spice on the palate. It has a medium plus length finishing with a mix of vanilla, oak, butterscotch tropical fruit and a little peppery. I think that this wine as-is is great to drink, and that ageing is not needed. If aged, the aromas and flavours I think will just lessen.  From my two tastings of this wine, decanting did not make any big differences to the aromas or flavours, so you can drink it upon opening, or let it linger over a day without problem.  Definitely a choice for Thanksgiving turkey with gravy and stuffing.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars A very tasty oaked Chardonnay with lots of ripe tropical fruit, vanilla and toasted oak aromas.  Big, round, smooth and buttery on the palate with ripe tropical fruit, butterscotch and vanilla flavours.

Spearhead Pinot Gris Golden Retreat Vineyard 2019 (BC $20) – a medium intensity bright straw colour in the glass. This wine has bright fresh fruit aromas. Medium intensity; mostly stone fruits, peach, and lesser citrus scents. After decanting pear and crisp apple aromas can also be added.  This wine is slightly off dry, medium body and semi-round with a light acidic prickle on your tongue. I enjoyed the light salty minerality in this wine. It has a mix of citrus and stone fruit, peach flavours. The stone fruit flavours grow in intensity throughout the sip then as it gets near the finish the minerality becomes obvious again and you get some pepperiness. With decanting the wine becomes rounder and smoother, with the addition of pears, apple, lychee and a touch of roses on the palate. On the finish are the stone fruits, pepperiness and some honey. A tasty wine.  Although I enjoyed this wine upon first opening it, giving it some decanting time made it taste even better.  I really like the rounder mouthfeel and the addition of the other fruit flavours.  It should go very well with many dishes from seafood to a lightly roasted chicken dish to a Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars with decanting.  Bright fresh citrus and stone fruit aromas.  Medium body, dry with a light acidic prickle A mix of citrus and stone fruit, then some pepperiness and honey on the finish.

Spearhead Chardonnay Clone 95 2018 and Pinot Gris Golden Retreat Vineyard 2019 with wines in glasses

Spearhead Chardonnay Clone 95 2018 and Pinot Gris Golden Retreat Vineyard 2019 with wines in glasses

Where Can I Buy These Wines?

You can buy these wines online through SpearHead’s website. There is also quite an extensive list of retailers across most of BC.

Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.

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