Writer and wine columnist John Schreiner is Canada's most prolific author of books on wine.
Thursday, May 20, 2021
SpearHead releases wines for spring 2021
Photo: Winemaker Grant Stanley
The early assessments of the 2020 vintage agree that this was one of the best vintages so far in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys – except for volume.
Most wineries report that the quantities of wines made in 2020 were down by as much as 30% from the average of recent years. That was because of bud damage in the 2019-20 winter and also to spring rains during flowering in 2020.
But the rest of the growing season was generally good to excellent. And because the vines were carrying less fruit with smaller berries, the resulting wines are more intensely flavoured.
SpearHead winery in East Kelowna was comparatively fortunate. Grant Stanley, the winemaker and general manager, says that volume at his winery was down just 10% from what had been expected. As a consequence, he dropped White Pinot Noir from his lineup for offerings this spring. The wines that SpearHead has released are exemplary show cases of the vintage – bright fruit, concentrated flavours.
Here are notes on the wines.
SpearHead Pinot Noir Rosé 2020 ($23). The wine presents in the glass with an appealing light ruby hue. It begins with aromas of strawberry and cherry. On the palate, there are flavours of strawberry and pomegranate, with bright, refreshing acidity. 90.
SpearHead Pinot Gris 2020 ($20). Utterly delicious, this wine is simply packed with fruit – peach, ripe pear, citrus on the nose and palate. On the finish, the wine is crisp and refreshing. 91.
SpearHead Riesling 2020 ($20). The intensity of the vintage is particularly evident with this Riesling, with its aromas and flavours of lemon, grapefruit and green apple and with tangy natural acidity. This wine should be cellared at least until this fall and more likely for another year or two to reach its full potential of flavour. 92.