Connoisseurs' Guide Reviews the Spell 2014 Pinot Noirs
by Spell Estate, Tastemaker in Residence
Connoisseurs' Guide Reviews
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Photos of 2014 Bud Break and harvest at Terra de Promissio 2014
Nicely concentrated and noticeably juicy in direction, this young, outgoing effort smacks of ripe red cherries with a slight touch of dried violets to its aromas, and its flavors follow suit in their blending of ripe and zesty fruit buttressed by creamy oak. There is plenty of generosity here, yet the wine’s underlying energy does promise further refinement to come with three to five more years of bottle aging.
On the whole, a bit brighter in balance relative to its cellarmates, the wine is fairly full in body and focused on red cherry fruitiness with touches of black cherry and rich coffee in the background. Its early suppleness teases with suggested drinkability, but even though the wine is not overly tannic, its acidity does firm things up in a way that three to five or six years of time in the cellar are bound to bring rewards to the patient.
Pleasant and well-made, this medium-depth offering sports the inviting fruit that is part and parcel of the Spell quartet, and, if a bit direct overall, it is a wine whose focus and early accessibility makes it the one to drink while the other Spell offerings gain in maturity. There is a tendency to think that the wine is a bit soft in structure yet its underlying tannins do afford it a certain grip, and it is not going to fade anytime soon. Drink it up now or let it sit quietly in the dark for a few years.
Light-medium in volume and centered on ripe cherries as its first point of focus, this wine picks up roasted coffee and slight barky notes with a hint of a tangy edge to its aromatic proceedings. It is fairly full in body, slightly supple with a hint of a firm edge and keeps fruit in sight across the palate. Like its mates, it can grow a bit in the bottle, but is neither as deep nor as keen in aspect as to demand lots of aging.
Limited Availability Library Wines
Our library wines can be found on our Wines page at spellestate.com this Fall.
Less than 2 cases available for the majority of these wines.
2012 Alder Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir
94 Points Wine Enthusiast
Exotic fruit aromas and concentrated fruit flavors make this full-bodied wine an attention grabber at first sip. They hold the attention through a fine-grained mouthfeel and lingering finish. A focused core of black-currant flavor runs from first wiff to last impression. It needs time, so drink after 2017. Cellar Selection – JG
2012 Marimar Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir
91 Points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Vivid ruby-red. Sexy, oak-spiced cherry and black raspberry scents are lifted by smoky mineral and Asian spice nuances. Offers palate-staining dark berry and floral pastille flavors that become livelier and more aromatic with aeration. Dusty tannins build slowly on the finish, giving grip to the wine’s plush, sappy fruit.
2013 Umino Vineyard Pinot Noir
91 Points Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
Lastly, the 2013 Pinot Noir Umino Vineyard (a Russian River site) displays a dark ruby color, rich plum and black cherry fruit, with a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, and a velvety, lush, texture. To me, this is clearly the best of all these Pinots from Spell, a full-bodied, lavishly constructed and plush wine that should drink well for 7-8 years.
2013 Alder Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir
93 Points Wine Enthusiast Cellar Selection
2013 Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir
93 Points Wine & Spirits
Bill & Susan Weir planted their first block of Pinot Noir on this remote rocky slope in coastal Mendocino in 1992. It’s a vineyard with no neighbors or exact peers and the best wines from here are pure energy; a buzz of nervous almost unsettled red fruit. In this 2013, winemaker Andrew Berge captures the vineyard at its best, in fruit that sparks with the electricity of red currants and grapefruit flavor and sandy tannins carrying a beetroot-like earthiness. All of the pieces are held in a propulsive tension.
90 Points Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
The 2013 Pinot Noir Terra de Promissio Vineyard from the Sonoma Coast is a slightly more evolved garnet/ruby color, with more forest floor, spice box and baking spices, plenty of earth, plum and cherry fruit, a slightly deeper texture, more savory richness, and a longer finish. This is an impressive Pinot to drink over the next 5-7 years.
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