millennialdrinkers.com review the 2014 Spell Wines
by Spell Estate, Tastemaker in Residence
millennialdrinkers.com review the 2014 Spell Wines
photos (L to R): Bud break and Harvest 2014, Terra de Promissio Vineyard, Sonoma Coast
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Sonoma County | 882 cases produced
Decided to try out the entry level Pinot Noir from Spell Estate. A mix of crimson and garnet red. Initially tight on the nose and finally opened up with some dried herbs, floral notes and some toasted sandal wood. Definitely the most floral of the four Pinot Noirs. Some perfumed wood too. On day two and three some meaty and candied notes appeared. Cherry cola on the palate, with the texture too. Moderate tannins (6.5/10) and balanced acidity. Lots of dark black cherries, herbs and twigs. Medium body with great structure. Very approachable with a long finish. Drink till 2024.
Nicole’s Blend is the entry level Pinot Noir made by Andrew Berge at Spell Estate. The fruit is sourced primarily from the DeVoto Vineyard which is located in the Green Valley viticultural area of the Russian River Valley. The vineyard is covered in a fine sandy loam called Goldridge and planted with Dijon clones 115, 667 and California 828. The additional sourced fruit for this Pinot Noir is from declassified barrels from the Umino, Terra de Promissio, and Alder Springs Vineyards. More details on those vineyards under the specific bottlings. The only vineyard we did not try separately was the Alder Springs Vineyard, which is located in the Mendocino County AVA. Alder Springs Vineyard is planted with the following clones; Dijon 459, 115, 667 and 777, with selections of Calera and DRC. The fruit from Alder Springs comes two different blocks located at an elevation ranging from 1,700 to 1,900 feet on a Southeastern facing slope. Soil here is volcanic-based with low vigor. Aged in 100% French oak of which 40% is new.
Spell Umino Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 - 92 Points
Sonoma Coast | 128 cases produced
Next on the list of the Spell Estate Pinot Noirs was the Umino Vineyard. Dark crimson red, darker than the Nicole’s Blend. Very interesting nose straight off the pop and pour. Lots of purple floral notes (dried lavender), burnt oatmeal, black tea and a slightly gamey undertone. Earthy characteristics on the palate with some mushrooms, and espresso beans. Slight hint of black cherries too. Moderate tannins (6.5/10) and moderate plus acidity (7.5/10). Definitely needs some time to mellow out and develop those additional characteristics on the nose and palate. Moderate plus body, fuller than the Nicole’s Blend with a super long and drying finish. Drink till 2028.
At Spell Estate, Andrew Berge makes the single vineyard bottlings specifically so one can distinguish the different flavors, structure and texture. The Umino Vineyard is owned and farmed by Dave Umino and is located in Sebastopol, California in the Russian River Valley AVA in the Sonoma Coast AVA. Planted on this vineyard are a total of four Dijon clones of which three are used in this bottling; 777, 115 and 459. Umino Vineyard is in a prime location for growing Pinot Noir due to the cool maritime air that flows through the hills to help monitor and moderate the ripening. Aged in 100% French oak of which 50% is new.
Spell Terra de Promissio Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 - 91+ Points
Sonoma Coast | 79 cases produced
Second single vineyard Pinot Noir from Spell Estate is the Terra de Promissio Vineyard. Crimson red with garnet edges. Love the differences that distinguishes the different single vineyard bottlings. Lots of clay, wood, tea leaves, dried lavender and mesquite smoked wood. Some added maple bacon notes on day two. Moderate tannins (6.5/10) and moderate acidity (6/10). Palate started off a little smokey and with red cherries on day one. Day two added in some more complexity with some light greenery some cherry cola and gamey notes. Fullest of the four Pinot Noirs with a moderate plus body. A little bit of heat and long finish. Drink till 2025.
At Spell Estate, Andrew Berge makes the single vineyard bottlings specifically so one can distinguish the different flavors, structure and texture. The Terra de Promissio Vineyard is owned and managed by Charles and Diana Karren. The TdP Vineyard is located in the unofficial AVA of Petaluma Gap in the Sonoma Coast AVA. Planted on this vineyard are a total of two clones of which the Dijon 115 clone is used in this bottling. This vineyard also has cool maritime breezes that help to slow down the ripening process of the fruit. Aged in 100% French oak of which 50% is new.
Spell Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 - 91+ Points
Yorkville Highlands | 125 cases produced
The last single vineyard Pinot Noir from Spell Estate is the Weir Vineyard. Garnet red, not as much red or darker hues at the previous Pinot Noirs. Sweetest nose of the lot, with notes of caramel, sweet smoked meat and dried roses. On day two it gained some complexity with a little barnyard funk and some dust or sand. Moderate acidity (6/10) and moderate tannins (5.5/10). Lots of red cherries, berries and white pepper on the palate. Some savory undertones that were a little woody too. Body was the lightest of the four and was a little tight too. Needs some time to fully develop. Long finish with a pinch of minerality. Drink till 2026.
At Spell Estate, Andrew Berge makes the single vineyard bottlings specifically so one can distinguish the different flavors, structure and texture. The Weir Vineyard is owned and managed by Bill and Suki Weir. The Weir Vineyard is located in the Yorkville Highlands which separates the Sonoma County portion of the Anderson Valley AVA from the Mendocino portion. Planted on this vineyard are a total of three clones of Pinot Noir as well as a few hundred vines of Nebbiolo. All three clones are used in this bottling; Rochioli Pommard Selection, Wadenswald 2A and DRC Selection. As with all the single vineyard bottlings by Spell Estate the Weir Vineyard has cool maritime breezes that help to slow down and regulate the ripening process of the fruit. Aged in 100% French oak of which 33% is new.
Spell Chardonnay 2014 - 91 Points
Russian River Valley | 243 cases produced
Final bottle from the Spell Estate is their Chardonnay from the Dutton Sullivan Vineyard. Clear yellow with a hint of gold and some green. Very tight initially. Finally after a few hours there were some white fruits, light tropical and citrus notes. A bit of honeysuckle too. Very refreshing with a creamy texture. Moderate acidity (6.5/10) with some green apples, citrus and cooked pears. A little zesty too. Light bodied and long finish. Drink till 2020.
Made of 100% Chardonnay from the Wente clone of Chardonnay. This fruit is sourced from the Dutton Sullivan Vineyard, which is located in the Russian River Valley AVA. With close proximity to the Pacific Ocean the day starts with warm sunny days and then followed by cool foggy evenings. All vines have extremely small clusters and berries that have lead to extraordinary flavors and texture. Aged in 100% French oak of which 30% is new.