26 September 2014

Spell Winery Pinot Noir

At Spell Estate, German-born winemaker Andrew Berge produces a portfolio that is almost entirely Pinot Noir sourced from Sonoma and Mendocino. (The exception is a Chardonnay.) Spell is a small operation, producing 1500 cases a year. The wine can be purchased from their website, and tasting is only available by appointment at their custom crush facility.

I was contacted by Spell after tasting the Pinot Noir from La Pitchoune, where Berge also works as a winemaker. These four bottles show an impressive range of styles that are distinctly California yet demonstrate the versatility of this grape.

2012 Spell Nichole's Blend Pinot Noir
Sonoma County
100% Pinot Noir
902 Cases Produced
$39, 14.3% abv.

Profile of black cherry and a hint of leather. Medium tannins and a long finish. Excellent quality-price ratio.

2012 Spell Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir
Yorkville Highlands
100% Pinot Noir
194 Cases Produced
$50, 14.3% abv.

Deep and meaty with savory notes, a dark strawberry with just a dash of reduced balsamic vinegar on it.

2012 Spell Alder Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir
Mendocino County
100% Pinot Noir
149 Cases Produced
$50, 14.2% abv.

Really bold dark fruit with a firm body, one that benefits from an hour of decanting. Touches of tobacco and coffee are quite enchanting.

2012 Spell Terra de Promissio Vineyard
Sonoma Coast
100% Pinot Noir
148 Cases Produced
$72, 14.3% abv.

Rich and deep with a profile of berries backed up by hints of spice. Incredibly smooth and perfectly balanced. Highly recommended.

Note: These wines were provided as samples for review.

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