Monday, August 23, 2021

SpearHead's Grant Stanley is no one-trick pony

Photo: Winemaker Grant Stanley
In a recent review of Pinot Noirs from SpearHead Winery, I repeated the quote I once got from winemaker Grant Stanley: that he thought about Pinot Noir 80% of the time. He was then managing an extensive portfolio at Quails’ Gate Estate Winery that ranged from Old Vines Foch to Botrytized Optima. I told Grant I could detect no neglect in the other wines. Of course, there was none. Grant is a very good winemaker. I was reminded of that recently when tasting the latest three releases from SpearHead. To be sure, there is the ubiquitous Pinot Noir – but there are two excellent Chardonnays. Clearly, he does not overlook other varietals.
Here are notes on the wines.
SpearHead Chardonnay Clone 95 Saddle Block Vineyard 2019 ($30 for 169 cases). The vineyard is on the East Kelowna Bench. The wine begins with appealing notes of butter, orange and apricot, echoed richly on the palate. The wine was aged 10 months in French oak (25% new). The subtle oak notes frame the rich fruit. 92.
b>SpearHead Chardonnay Clone 95 Duncan Vineyard 2019 ($30 for 485 cases). This wine, with fruit from a Naramata vineyard, was barrel-fermented and aged 10 months on the lees in French oak. Partial malolactic fermentation has added to the richness of the wine, which has aromas and flavours of butter, orange and stone fruit. There is a hint of vanilla on the finish. This is a wine of power and complexity. 92.
SpearHead Pinot Noir Cuvée 2019 ($42 for 430 cases, 45 magnums, 12 double magnums). This wine includes four clones from two vineyards (one in Summerland, one at the estate). The wine was whole berry fermented and aged 13 months in French oak. It is a dark, full-bodied Pinot Noir, with aromas and flavours of cherry mingled with notes of forest floor. Silky tannins lead to a lingering finish. The wine should be decanted for immediate consumption; but it really deserves to be aged in bottle five or 10 years. 92.

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