Spierhead Winery is one of the newer wineries of the Okanagan Valley located up in the hills of East Kelowna. The were 385 cases of Chardonnay produced with the 2010 vintage and the fruit was sourced from grapes from the winery’s own site as well as some from further south. Whole cluster pressing and malo-lactic fermentation resulted in a soft wine with aromas of vanilla, apple and pear.
On the palate there is some noticeable and well integrated oak. It is interesting to note winemaker Tom DiBello used oak staves as opposed to the traditional oak barrels with this wine. Again apple, pear and vanilla are obvious. A luscious wine perfect for a roast chicken, baked or BBQ salmon or a rich pasta dish.
A light-bodied and fresh number, the first from this Okanagan Winery. Floral, green apple and peach aromas with flavours of lemon, lime, apple and peach. A somewhat tart finish, this is a typical Gris from younger vines. With another year to develop, these plants should produce wines of more depth, but there’s nothing preventing you from enjoying the inaugural vintage with some fresh oysters (except the fact it’s sold out) – accompany with a granny smith mignonette and you’re set for patio weather.
Vintage: 2009 Status:
VQA Vineyard: Switchback
Pinot Gris Clone: 52
Fermentation: 100% Stainless Steel
Alcohol: 13.0 pH: 3.29 RS: 1.3 T.A.: 7.60
Wine Advocate Issue #184 Sep 2009 91 points
A Pinot Noir Dry Red Table wine from Otago, New Zealand
The 2006 Pinot Noir has a beautifully defined, rather “cool”, reserved, Burgundian nose, capturing the lightness of Pinot Noir, its clarity and pellucid nature. Scents of wild strawberry, raspberry leaf and a touch of limestone. The palate is well balanced with judicious use of oak, a Pinot that knows that it does not have to try hard to make a good impression. Builds nicely from a taut, linear entry to surprising weight and sappiness on the finish. Excellent! Drink over 3-6 years.
I stumbled across Paritua at a public tasting in London and was mightily impressed by their wines (since re-tasted single blind from samples.) Established in 2001 by two Americans, Brianne and Gary Fisher who fell in love with Hawkes Bay, they farm 150 acres in the Ngatawara Triangle and though produced in small quantities, are well worth seeking out.
Neal Martin for Wine Advocate