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Wine Reviews

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2019 SpearHead Pinot Gris

 

Expressive, pristine, concentrated.
The purity of this wine is constantly noteworthy. Expect sweet tree fruits (think peach, pear and golden apples), zesty citrus and honeysuckle on the nose. It is crunchy and precise with a mouthwatering finish. It also has concentration length and levity.
Pair: Crab cakes served with spicy peach salsa, chicken salad or creamy pastas.

Daenna Van Mulligen - WineDiva

90 points. Spirited pinot gris here from Spearhead's Golden Retreat Vineyard, evident of concentrated fruit made whole by a syringe full of mineral salts injected through. Pretty salty stuff in fact and fun for the whole family. Focused, precise and plain terrific Okanagan white wine. Drink 2020-2022. Tasted September 2020.

Michael Godel - Wine Align

89 points. Good, clean fun here in this fleshy, fruity pinot gris from Spearhead, with notable lees contribution and firm acids. Designed for immediate enjoyment, well made and fairly priced. Tasted September 2020.

John Szabo, MS - Wine Align

91 points. It is a lovely bright, fresh BC Pinot gris with ample peach-apricot, lemon and gentle herbality on the nose. It is medium bodied, spry and lively with very good acidity, youthful spritz and lemon rind bitterness on the finish. The length is excellent. Tasted Sept 2020.

David Lawrason - Wine Align

91 points. The wine begins with aromas of pears and apples and echoes those fruits on the palate, along with a hint of anise on the finish. The texture is full and the finish lingers.

John Schreiner on Wine

88 points. An aromatic, partially oaked (10% in 2 year old barrels) Pinot Gris with white blossom notes prettying-up the white peach-scented nose. Crisp and refreshing on the nearly-dry, medium bodied palate with citrus and orchard fruit flavours. To be enjoyed in its youth. Drink now-2022.

Liam Carrier - IconWines

 

2019 SpearHead Riesling

 

91 points. This is another razor riesling from Spearhead's vineyards in East Kelowna and Mount Boucherie on the other side of the lake. Scintillating acidity is barely cushioned by a hint of sweetness. Small batch winemaking and skin contact create some complexity as well, with youthful green apple, nectarine, vague florals and flint on the nose and finish. It is mid-weight, energetic and bright, with excellent length. Tasted April 2020.

David Lawrason - Wine Align

 89 points. Winemaker Grant Stanley gets riesling, and his work here is essential, keeping the knife-edge acidity and freshness front and center. The fruit is a mix from Seven Mountain Vineyard on Mount Boucherie in West Kelowna, and Gentleman Farmer Vineyard in southeast Kelowna. The fresh, 12 percent, green apple, lime is balanced with a dusting of sweetness at 9 grams, pulling you into the yin and yang of this wine. It finishes with a stony, mineral undercurrent. Mouthwatering now, and will be for several years under screwcap.

Anthony Gismondi on Wine

 90 points. A nice intense nose with green apple, lime, white peach, good intensity with a hint of floral honeysuckle. Dry, crisp, racy and with good intensity. Lots of lemon and lime, green apple, some wet stone minerality and good length. A very crushable dry Riesling. Tasted March 2020.

Rhys Pender, MS

Besides Pinot Noir, SpearHead produces very good Rieslings, which I’ve reviewed before. This wine has 50% of the grapes whole-bunch pressed and 50% received 24-hour skin contact. The juice is ferment in stainless steel tanks at a cold temperature. This wine has is a bright medium-plus lemon colour. It has a lighter nose with aromas starting off with orange, peach and white flowers, but within 1-2 minutes the nose changes dramatically to tropical fruits, pine needles and citrus. It was quite amazing. With decanting the wine was primarily tropical fruit and oranges on the nose. This wine is dry and smooth with a lighter body. Medium acidity but no prickle on your tongue. Just some tartness. Tropical fruit and citrus, along with some green fruit. I also pick up some salty minerality and steeliness toward the finish. With decanting the wine tastes slightly off-dry, but also quite tart. I also get some peach flavour. I enjoy the salty minerality in this wine, making it more interesting on the palate. The wine has a medium-plus length finishing with tropical fruit and a touch of peach and some leafiness. With decanting you can add some green fruit and lime on the finish.
 A solid Riesling with lots of tropical fruit and citrus aromas and flavours. Minerality adds some complexity on the palate as well. Buy some now but should age well for at least 5 years.

Karl Kliparchuk - My Wine Pal

2019 SpearHead White Pinot Noir

91 points. First off let's quash any skepticism that this is some cheap "white zinfandel" copy cat. Think of it more as "Blanc de Noir" Champagne, without the bubbles. I first encountered white pinot noir in the northerly Ahr Valley of Germany which sits on the same 50th degree of latitude as Kelowna. I loved its mouthwatering tension, which is exactly what comes across in this bracing wine. It has fairly generous aromas vague toast, grapefruit and herbs. It is mid-weight, firm edging to austere, but just so complete and satisfying. And the length is excellent. Winemaker Grant Stanley only works with pinot noir in terms of red grapes, and he has captured something here. Tasted March 2020.

David Lawrason - Wine Align

89 points. This wine gets better every year, albeit in a fun way. It's not a Montrachet-like chardonnay, but it is a delicious summer sipper made with pinot noir but pressed off its skins, hence the white pinot noir moniker. The juice is cold settled and fermented to a pleasing dryness before spending crucial time on its lees, which tends to knock down the silly fruit aromas and flavours. The result is a slightly more complicated, northern Euro-style white full of pear, grass mineral, melon. The finish is a salty, dry, leesy affair that calls for food. Ready to drink and more fun than ever. These are the labels that can set a winery apart from its competition. Tasted March 2020.

Anthony Gismondi on Wine

This is the third year that SpearHead has released this wine. The grapes are whole-bunch pressed with minimal skin contact so that you get a white wine from red-skinned grapes. The cold settled juice is fermented in small stainless steel tanks. This wine has a bright medium intensity lemon colour with a slight green tint. It has a pronounced youthful nose showing a mix of lime, stonefruits and white flowers, and a touch of oranges. This wine is dry with higher acidity, fuller body and pronounced flavour intensity. Although it has higher acidity this wine is very round and has a nice silky mouthfeel. Lots of ripe stone fruits, tart citrus and oranges with some apple toward the finish. Also some stoniness but not too prominent. Within a short 5 minutes of time in the glass, the flavours were quickly evolving into tropical fruits. The stony minerality is joined with salty minerality. Acidity provides the structure to this wine. It has a longer lingering stonefruit and citrus finish with a touch of pepperiness and tannins. Buy this wine; it’s delicious. BC fresh fruit in a glass. No decanting needed.
 -   A delicious, delicate wine with stone fruits, citrus and white flowers on the nose and a mix of stone fruit and tropical fruit flavours, along with some minerality.

Karl Kliparchuk - My Wine Pal

2019 SpearHead Pinot Noir Rosé

 

This wine is the result of their second sorting as they prepare for their red wine harvest. They selectively pick a combination of fruit sourced from areas that produce grapes with higher natural acidity and using juice from the White Pinot Noir process that had a little too much colour extraction. The grapes are destemmed and crushed into small stainless steel tanks where they are cold-soaked with their skins for 48 hours to get the rose colour and light phenolics. The must is then pressed, settled and cold fermented. This wine is a bright, clear rhubarb red colour in the glass. It has a light intensity nose showing rhubarb, red currants, strawberries, and other sweet ripe fruit aromas. You get more red fruit aromas with decanting. The wine is slightly off-dry, with light acidity. It is almost round with some angularity. The acidity provides liveliness to this wine without being too tart. You get light flavours of tart red cherries and other red fruits and a touch of floral. With decanting the wine became rounder and softer in the mouth and added some candied red cherry flavours. There is also some rhubarb flavour along with more red cherries toward the end and a touch of pepperiness. Decanting makes the rhubarb flavour a bit stronger on the finish. It has light drying tannins on the finish. A delicious, delicate wine. No need to decant.
 -   A delicate rose. It has a light red fruit nose with mainly red cherries, a touch of floral and other red fruits on the palate. Quite tasty.

Karl Kliparchuk - My Wine Pal

 89 points. Spearhead has released a deep-coloured pink/red rosé that is a mix of three vineyards: Gentleman Farmer Vineyard in SE Kelowna, Golden Retreat Vineyard in Summerland and Coyote Vineyard in West Kelowna. The nose is slightly candied, but after that, the acidity kicks in, and the herbal, fresh northern notes that keep this rosé dry and fresh take over. Think grilled chicken skewers, prawn potstickers, or salmon burgers. Well done.

Anthony Gismondi on Wine

2018 SpearHead Chardonnay Clone 95

 

90 points. This is a lean, vibrant and quite intense chardonnay from estate vineyards in East Kelowna. It is made from a single clone of chardonnay. It pours fairly deep lemon. The nose is very intense with spice, toast, wood smoke, a buttery/cheesy note from partial malolactic fermentation and peach and lemon fruit. It is medium-full bodied, edgy with some sourness, great acidity and excellent length. Full throttle but not heavy. Tasted Sept 2020.

David Lawrason - Wine Align

91 points. Nice reductive, fresh style with flint, popcorn, nut, white peach, nectarine, lemon zest and lemon verbena. Crisp, medium bodied and fresh with zippy acidity, subtle oak and nut, more stone fruit, lemon and zest and a long finish. Tasted Oct 2019.

Rhys Pender, MS

92 points. This wine was fermented in barrel and then aged 10 months in French oak barrels and puncheons (40% new). This is a lovely wine with a crystal clear focus on the fruit. The oak is quite subdued, evident just as a touch of vanilla in the aroma and flavour. The lead role is taken by zesty and refreshing flavours of pineapple and apple mingled with hints of butter.

John Schreiner on Wine

89 points. Clone 95 is a variation of the chardonnay grape that comes from the Burgundy region of French, which is celebrated for its low yields and high quality, flavourful fruit. This complex chardonnay is produced by SpearHead with Clone 95 vines from the Duncan Vineyard on the Naramata Bench and the winery’s estate in Kelowna. Fermented and aged for 10 months in French oak barrels of different sizes and maturity (including 40 per cent new barrels), this offers attractive pear, apple and citrus notes alongside toasty and nutty notes. Drink now to 2025.

Christopher Waters – Globe and Mail

89 points. A blend of clone 95 Chardonnay grapes sourced from the Naramata Bench and the winery's home vineyard in East Kelowna, fermented and aged in oak (40% new) and allowed (or encouraged) to go through a secondary, malolactic fermentation. The resulting wine is crisp (as all Chardonnay should be), well-balanced, smooth and rich without ever feeling over-done or heavy. Look for both refreshing notes of acidic, orchard fruit and savoury, flavours of macadamia nuts and vanilla-kissed scones. Ready to go now, though, it should hold for 2-3 more years. Sealed with a Stelvin cap to lock-in freshness. Drink now-2023.

Liam Carrier - IconWines

89 points. Clone 95 is a unique bottling of a single French clone grown on two very different sites, one on the Naramata Bench the other on Spearhead's home site in southeast Kelowna. It is a very stylish chardonnay, and fun drink from its mineral, leesy, hazelnut nose flecked with ripe, pear to its creamy textures and flavourful ripe red apple and preserved lemon palate. It's fermented and aged in French oak for ten months in a combination of smaller standard barriques and larger format puncheons. No rush to drink, but it's in great shape already.

Anthony Gismondi on Wine

2018 SpearHead Pinot Noir Cuvée

 

92 points. This was compiled from five clones grown in two sites, the Golden Retreat Vineyard in Summerland and the estate vineyard in East Kelowna. It is not flamboyant at this stage but it is even, confident and quite elegant, hinting at richness but a bit shy. The fruit is between bright red cherry and something darker, with earthiness and forest in the wings, and oak nicely fitted (French oak for 13 months). It feels complete and almost seamless, tannins youthfully active but behaved, alcohol in check. Excellent focus and length. I would age it a year or two to expand, but an hour of aeration might achieve the same result. Tasted Feb 2020.

David Lawrason - Wine Align

92 points. Talk about pinot noir that presses all the buttons and triggers all sorts of emotions. A wealth of doubly ripe fruit is met with just the right amount of tension to strike accords, at hearts and elicit aromatic memories that speak to the child in all of us. Forget single-vineyards, micro-plots and Climats talked about ad nauseum. Pour us a great cuvee and we'll show you a great cuvee. Drink 2020-2025. Tasted September 2020.

Michael Godel - Wine Align

92 points. This is a ripe, flashy, dark-fruited pinot from the Okanagan, very west coast in style, which is too say deeply fruity, plummy, polished, with a sheen of oak-derived coffee bean flavour and broad, plush texture. Tannins are supple and velvety, and acids gentle but sufficiently perky to keep things fresh. Very good length. I'd tuck in the cellar for another 2 years or so to develop a little more of that beguiling earthy pinot character. Very nicely made. Tasted September 2020.

John Szabo, MS - Wine Align

94 points. This is a complex and full-flavoured wine. To begin with, six clones are blended into the cuvée: 30% Dijon 777, 28% Pommard, 18% Dijon 828, and 8% each of Dijon 115, Dijon 667 and Mt. Eden. The wine was aged for 13 months in French oak barrels (40% new). Dark in colour, the wine begins with aromas of ripe raspberries, cherries and blueberries. The rich palate delivers all those fruits along with plum and spice.

John Schreiner on Wine

Fleshy, perfumed, silky.
Located in South East Kelowna and specializing in cool-climate varieties, Spearhead continues to excel under winemaker Grant Stanley, who makes this blend of Dijon and Pommard (and a splash of Mt. Eden) clone grapes and matures it in for 13 months in French oak. This vintage is notably riper than the previous. Cherries and black raspberry, dried orange peel and tealeaf, star anise, vanilla liqueur, cedar chips and lilacs perfume the nose. The palate is earthier; silky with tangible oak influence, it shows good levity and persistence. This is no shy Pinot, it has a fleshy and robust character.

Daenna Van Mulligen – WineDiva

2018 SpearHead Pinot Noir Clone 828

 

93 points. Winemaker Grant Stanley is a student of pinot noir clonal selections with many of his wines being composites of several. Here however one block of Clone 828 performed so well in the estate vineyard on the upper benches of East Kelowna in the cooler 2018 vintage that he did a separate bottling of 120 cases. There is indeed a lovely, calm almost ethereal florality, cran/raspberry ripeness and oak finesse that sends up beguiling perfume. It is medium weight, substantial yet silky with very fine if still youthful tannin. Texturally very fine, with excellent length. It is so in tune you can easily enjoy it now after an hour aeration, but also structured to live a decade. Wine Club only. Tasted Feb 2020.

David Lawrason - Wine Align

2018 SpearHead Pinot Noir Saddle Block

 

90 points. This pinot is a pure expression of its terroir on the upper benches of East Kelowna. A bit farther removed from lake effect, cooler, and sitting at almost 50 degrees of latitude. The lighter vintage is also at play. The paler colour is the first manifestation; then comes the lifted red currant/cranberry fruit, with fresh herbs and evergreen. Oak is nicely handled to the point of being barely obvious. It is bright and quite tart-edged on the palate yet beautifully textured warm and smooth as well. It is not tannic but there is a fitting green foresty edge to the finish. Can I say this, but I thought of Chianti. The length is very good to excellent. Best 2021 to 2026.

David Lawrason - Wine Align

94 points. The wine begins with aromas of cherry and strawberry mingled with spice and notes of forest floor. The wine is generous on the palate with appealing dark fruit flavours and a lingering finish. The texture is silky.

John Schreiner on Wine

89 points. Approachable, bright red fruit. Acidity is vibrant and tart, needs time to unwind a bit for best enjoyment. Bottled unfiltered. Drink now to 2025.

Christopher Waters on Wine

90 points. An intense nose combining bright red fruit, orange zest, earth and gamy notes. Lots of baking spice, game and clove, some potpourri, a silky texture, crisp acid and light body with a long finish. Lovely Pinot. Tasted April 2020.

Rhys Pender, MS

89 points The fruit is sourced from Spearhead's estate Saddle Block, in South East Kelowna. It is a wide mix of pinot clones, including 115, 777, 828 and 667. It is hand harvested, cold soaked for 5-7 days before a natural ferment, 16 to 21 days long, and a 13 month maturation in French oak barrels, of which 25 percent is new. The nose is savoury, and the attack cool forest floor scented and spicy. On the palate, sour cherries mix with floral, mineral, and white pepper notes with a herbal finish. Textures are soft, and the style is one that is ready to drink with root vegetables, duck, or salmon. Tasted May 2020.

Anthony Gismondi on Wine

Elegant, classic, fine.
Spearhead, located in east Kelowna, makes this single vineyard Pinot from the estate Saddle Block Vineyard, which contains three Dijon clones (115, 777, 828, 667 ); it was then aged 13 months in 100% French oak. The nose is a lovely potpourri of cedar chips and dried violets, bright red berry and cherry aromas, finely ground baking spice, and suggestions of leather, cocoa and beet greens. The palate is juicy and has classic pinosity; tangy red fruits mimic the nose and it has a fine-boned and feminine character. It is elegant, silky, lifted and complex; all in one.

Daenna Van Mulligen – WineDiva

2018 SpearHead Pinot Noir Golden Retreat

 

92 points. This is the prettiest wine of the trio [single vineyard Pinot Noirs], silken in texture, with aromas and flavours of cherry, plum, raspberry and spice.

John Schreiner on Wine

90 points. Juicy and enjoyable style with dark fruit and savoury notes, tart acidity adds to the food-friendly character. Bottled unfiltered. Drink now to 2026.

Christopher Waters on Wine

93 points. Intensely floral with lots of potpourri, clove, allspice, some gamy and meaty notes and lots of crunchy fresh red berry, red and black cherry and cranberry. Very complex. Palate is light, juicy, vibrant and fresh with lovely texture. Like fresh crushed raspberry, baking spice and light tannins with good length. Combines fruit, spice and earth in perfect balance. Crushable but complexity to age and develop. Tasted April 2020.

Rhys Pender, MS

90 points. From Summerland's Golden Retreat Vineyard, this is one of three single vineyard pinots (plus two multi-site blends) that Spearhead is producing. Again, Summerland distinguishes itself as a very favourable home for pinot noir, in this case, a mix of Pommard, 115, and 777 clones, each native fermented with three weeks on skins before spending 13 months in French oak barrels, 25 percent new. Winemaker Grant Stanley opens his pinot with savoury, spicy juniper plum followed by dark raspberry, black fruit, earth, chocolate, and Worcestershire sauce. Fresh and piquant, this is a lively pinot you can pair with rabbit, duck, or pork, or pair up alongside a roasted Tuscan-style pizza. Well made and should age effortlessly through 2025 and beyond. Tasted May 2020.

Anthony Gismondi on Wine

Complex, fragrant, silky.
Pinot Noir maestro, Grant Stanley heads up the winemaking at Spearhead these days, so their Pinots are in good hands. The Golden Retreat Vineyard is a western aspect site near Summerland with a south facing exposure. The vines (Dijon and Pommard clones) were planted in its volcanic soils in 2008/2009. The wine was matured 13 months in 100% French oak barrels. A potpourri of cedar chips and dried violets are woven with notes of cherry, red plum, tealeaf and leather. The palate is somewhat more savoury than the nose; expect flavours of spice and bacon fat. It is silky and balanced with sweet deep fruit and a peppery finish. Complex and confident.

Daenna Van Mulligen – WineDiva

2018 SpearHead Pinot Noir Coyote

 

92 points. This is the most robust of the trio [single vineyard Pinot Noirs] in part reflecting the clone and in part due to 16 to 21 days on the skins. There are aromas and flavours of cherry and plum mingled with toasty oak and savoury spice.

John Schreiner on Wine

88 points. Very spicy and intense, eccentric style, exotic peppercorns and espresso roast / mocha. Showing lots of secondary notes, with tart ruby grapefruit-like acidity. Needs time, but worry there’s not enough fruit for the long haul. Bottled unfiltered. Drink now to 2023.

Christopher Waters on Wine

89 points. Very intense on the nose with dominant gamy, meaty and earthy notes with some dried flowers, spice and red berry fruit behind. The palate is light, juicy, spicy and fresh with potpourri moving on to tart red cherry and cranberry with a long. crisp finish. Very gamy and earthy style Pinot. Plenty of potential to age and develop. Tasted April 2020.

Rhys Pender, MS

90 points. This is a spicy red-fruited pinot with swelling acidity, fresh plums and cherries, and intense savoury, dried herbs with a pinch of clove. A rich sockeye salmon grilled on the barbecue is the perfect match. It is a unique northern red that is becoming a big part of the future of the new, true north pinot noir. Drink or hold through 2024. Tasted May 2020.

Anthony Gismondi on Wine

2018 SpearHead Pinot Gris

 

Top MyWinePal 4.5-5 Stars Wine 2019:
The wine is a lighter lemon with a green tint in colour. Quite aromatic grapefruit aroma with touches of honey, peach and bramble leaf. With decanting the grapefruit aroma lessens and you get tropical fruit aromatics. The wine is slightly off-dry, with a nice mouth mouthfeel. Medium plus body. I really picked up salty minerality on this wine. A mix of grapefruit (most), citrus, and then peach flavours. Some pepperiness on the mid-palate to the finish. The flavour profile stays the same with decanting, so no need to decant. Tart citrus and grapefruit along with some pepperiness on a long finish for this wine. Very tasty.
 -   Nice grapefruit on the nose and palate, together with light peach alongside. Bright acidity and round mouthfeel.

Karl Kliparchuk - My Wine Pal

 88 points. Crunchy and fresh pink grapefruit, passionfruit and tangerine mark this eminently drinkable pinot gris from Summerland's Golden Retreat Vineyard. Whole bunch pressed, this was partially fermented in French oak, with the remainder fermented cool in stainless steel. Fully ripe and balanced orchard fruit flavours are tipped with a bump residual sugar in the punchy finish. Fun and ready to drink all summer with any number of classic summer dishes, especially green curries.

Anthony Gismondi & Treve Ring

89 points. Sourced from the winery's Golden Retreat near Summerland in a cooler vintage, this is a very pale pinot gris with generous aromas of white peach, vague florals and underlying bread crust. It is medium weight, smooth with a touch of sweetness, yet nicely fresh with good acidity. I like the gentle minerality on the finish and the squeeze of lemon-lime. Very good length. Like so many BC pinot gris it's between Alsatian gris and Italian grigio in style, although a tad closer to the latter this vintage. Tasted Feb 2020.

David Lawrason - Wine Align

2018 SpearHead Riesling

 

The wine has a medium bright lemon colour with a tinge of green. The wine as a medium plus intensity nose, showing lime most, followed by peach and a hint of white flowers. With decanting you also pick up some lime skin aromas. The wine is off-dry with a fuller body and flavour intensity. The wine is round with a thicker mouthfeel and a light acidic prickle. I get mostly tropical fruit flavours, with touches of lime, peach and pear. From the start, I also noted salty minerality, which was joined with some steeliness from the mid-palate to the finish. The wine could maybe have a touch more acidity as it feels a little too soft. Medium plus length finishing with tart and sweet tropical fruit and a hint of lime.
 -   Fresh lime and peach on the nose. Round with a thicker mouthfeel, showing mostly tropical fruit flavours along with some lime.

Karl Kliparchuk - My Wine Pal

Another gem of a riesling from the Okanagan, and one I was glad to see available in Alberta. Flint and granite mineral characters dominate the nose with somewhat subdued fruits letting all those layers show through. Bright acids show on the palate pushing down a smidge of sweetness. Match up with Indian or Germanic cuisine as it will handle spice and heat with style.

Tom Firth - Culinaire Magazine

91 points. Another riveting riesling from the northern Okanagan including the benches of East Kelowna and Mt. Boucherie in West Kelowna. It is sold out except to Wine Club members after taking not only silver at NWAC but double gold and White Wine of the Year at the All Canadian Championships. It has straight-on, intense, complex nose of peach, spice, honey, petrol and wet stone. It is medium weight (12%) with bracing acidity and a touch of sweetness. Flavours stay true and focused hitting excellent length. Tasted Feb 2020.

David Lawrason - Wine Align

2018 SpearHead Late Harvest Riesling

 

The wine is a bright lemon green in colour. Medium intensity nose with aromas of lime and grapefruit, green fruit and a hint of peach. The wine is not cloyingly sweet; just right. Lighter acidity. Round, medium bodied. Some saline minerality upfront. Mostly lime flavour, followed by citrus then green fruit, and a hint of peach and orange (from the botrytis). Medium plus length finishing with a mix of tart and sweet citrus fruit flavours. A soft finish, not too acidic. A clean and fresh late harvest wine.
  A delicate late harvest wine, not overly sweet, with lime most prominent on the nose and palate, followed by other citrus and green fruits.

Karl Kliparchuk - My Wine Pal

It's creamy, if not unctuous, but never cloying. Perfect for dessert. Serve well chilled.

Anthony Gismondi - Vancouver Sun

Sourced entirely from the winery's Orchard Block, the grapes were hand-harvested on November 15, 2018, after incurring Botrytis cinerea, the "noble rot" that shrivels grapes and concentrates sugars. Foot stomping and cold fermentation ensued, and the result is a lighter style late harvest wine overall. Aromas of citrus, peach, and pith lead into a sweet but bright body, with a lingering, peach gummy candy finish. Bring on the plate of salty cheese, vegan or otherwise. Bottom Line: B+ Elegant touch.

James Nevison - Vancouver Province

2018 SpearHead White Pinot Noir

 

The wine is pale lemon in colour. Medium plus intensity aromas with lime first being noticed then other citrus, followed by some tropical fruit and white flowers. With decanting I also picked up grapefruit on the nose. The wine is dry, round and soft with lower acidity and thicker mouthfeel. Tropical fruit flavours, with lime behind and touches of peach and lemon, and some bramble leaf. The wine has a medium length finishes with bramble leaf, peach and tart citrus, but not too tart as the wine is quite round and mouth-filling.
 -   A soft round wine with a blend of lime, citrus, peach and tropical fruit on the nose and palate.

Karl Kliparchuk - My Wine Pal

 89 points. Last year’s attempt was exciting, but the current release is a whole lot better. A white pinot noir sounds intriguing: there’s gentle, quick whole-bunch pressing, limiting time on the skins, hence it is white, not the standard red colour. The juice is cold settled and fermented to a pleasing dryness before spending time on its lees, taming any exuberant fruit characters and adding a sheen of complexity to the apple, pear, melon flavours. There is a flinty, leesy, salty character that helps to dry the finish, and this year there is very little bitterness. Ready to drink and perfect with late afternoon patio bites.

Anthony Gismondi on Wine

2018 SpearHead Pinot Noir Rosé

 

Deep salmon colour, aromas of bing cherry, strawberry, rhubarb, crisp, clean and refreshing. This has patio wine writing all over it. Superb with pasta salad, bbq salmon, rotisserie chicken, a chacouterie board. P.S. It is even better next day.

Jim Martin - First Pressings

The wine is a medium intensity reddish-orange rose petal colour. It has subtle tart red fruits, red cherries and strawberry aromatics. May also have a hint of bramble leaf. WIth decanting you get quite prominent candied cherry aromas as well. The wine is dry and round, with a thicker mouthfeel. Medium acidity. Flavours more of red fruit with lesser amounts of strawberry and red cherry, and some bramble leaf. Very light tannins mid-palate to finish gives this wine some structure. With decanting the strawberry aromas become more evident. The wine has a medium plus length, finishing with strawberry and tart red fruit.
 -   A subtle Rose wine. The red fruit and strawberry flavours in this wine are understated. The more I taste this wine, the more I like it.

Karl Kliparchuk - My Wine Pal

Juicy summer strawberries, raspberries jump from this mouthwatering, likeable, pale-hued pinot noir rosé, sourced from the home Gentleman Farmer Vineyard in southeast Kelowna. The summer berry fruit rides the wave of juicy fun, buoyed by a bump of RS, to a soft finish. That said RS gives a slick of glyceral to the palate, enabling this summer delight to partner with salmon burgers. 87 pts.

Anthony Gismondi on Wine

2017 SpearHead Pinot Noir Cuvee

 

Playing fickle counterpart to amiable Pinot Gris, thin-skinned Pinot Noir requires delicate attention in the vineyard. But with care Pinot Noir amazes, and one B.C. winery that has shown it is willing to put in the time and effort is East Kelowna’s SpearHead. In relatively short order the winery has built a super serious Pinot program, focusing on site-specific terroirs matched to distinct PN clones. Their Cuvee is one example out of a handful of tasty Pinots, and their flagship bottle is sumptuous and well integrated, showing a beguiling combo of ripe berry and dried herb.

Bottom line: A, Gutsy yet silky

James Nevison - Wine Guy

Medium plus intensity garnet, that is about 50% translucent.  A lighter intensity nose showing ripe raspberries, some smokiness and toastiness, a touch of vanilla, red cherries and sweet spices.  With decanting the toastiness and sweet spices were not evident, but it became quite floral (violets) on the nose.  The wine is dry, lower in tannins, but medium acidity and body, and above average intensity flavours.  Flavours first off are floral, followed by raspberries, and red fruits, and a hint of vanilla.  The lighter, fine tannins get a bit stronger toward the finish.  Bigger, rounder, and more floral with decanting.  Medium length finishing with medium tannins, tart red fruits, oak and some bramble leaf.  The tannins finish softer with decanting and I also picked up ripe red cherry flavours.
  A solid Pinot Noir with a light touch overall on the aromas and flavours on the palate.  Ripe raspberries and light red cherries smoky toastiness on the nose.  Very floral on the palate with lesser amounts of raspberries and red fruits. Fine tannins.

Karl Kliparchuk - My Wine Pal

There’s never very much of the Cuvée because it’s a small selection of winemaker Grant Stanley’s best barrels. The flagship pinot mixes a variety of clones 828, 115, 667, and Mt. Eden, each hand harvested and aged separately for 13 months in 40 percent new French oak barrels. The nose is cool, with floral, red fruit and spice notes. The mid-weight palate is a mix of mineral, saline, black plums, black raspberry with just a dusting of brown spicing. Round, soft, easy sipping, it will be best drinking over the next three to five years. 91 pts.

Anthony Gismondi on Wine

This Cuvée bottling represents the winery's best barrels of its many Dijon clones blended with an eye on elegance and depth. Opening with a youthful, layered nose of creamy raspberry, forest floor, huckleberry and sweet, smoky, BBQ Salmon crackling aromas. A full, yet, lively, dry palate follows with a similar mix of sweet and savoury flavours; dark cherry, cocoa, light smoke, vanilla and a touch of spicy oak and amaretto liqueur on the long finish. Ready to go now and could evolve further in the cellar over the next 2-3 years. Drink 2019-2023. 91 pts.

Liam Carrier - Icon Wines

The aromas mingle toasty notes with plum and cherry. On the palate, the fruit is concentrated, with almost meaty flavours of plum and cherry. The polished texture will support aging – as the winery says, “careful imprisonment for 10-20 years.” 95 pts.

John Schreiner on Wine

2017 SpearHead Pinot Noir GFV Saddle Block

 

Medium intensity, dull translucent garnet.  A light smoky, cinnamon and red fruit nose (some may say cinnamon bun aroma) along with a hint of floral. The wine is dry, round, with medium body and mouthfeel.  Ripe raspberry and red fruits with a touch of smoky red fruit, minerality and floral notes on the palate.  Light sweet spices as well.  Fine tannins.  With decanting I also could taste some red cherries toward the finish.  On the finish, you get a fine tannic touch, oak, light pepperiness and some bitter leaf.  With decanting, I also picked up some vanilla as well.  A light mouthfeel throughout along with overall light flavours.
 -   Light aromas of cinnamon and red fruits, which proceed to the palate along with ripe raspberries.  A hint of floral and minerality.  A light Pinot Noir to enjoy.

Karl Kliparchuk - My Wine Pal

This is a friendly, supple, easy-sipping northern Okanagan version of pinot noir that will attract a large audience (private wine shops take note). What it lacks in edgy acidity and tightness, it more than makes up for it with a sweetish mix of raspberries and cherries, pliable tannins and brown spice. Very different from the other single site pinots; ready-to-drink. 90 pts.

Anthony Gismondi on Wine

Classic red fruit and cedar notes are wrapped in a blanket of cola, spice and gentle floral aromas on the expressive nose. A similar mix of flavours follow on the lip-smacking, huckleberry-kissed palate where a touch of RS and glycerol enhances the body and a friendly wave of spice flows through to the tangy, moderate-plus finish. Light tannins are ready to go now. Drink 2019-2022. 89 pts.

Liam Carrier - Icon Wines

In the glass, the wine shows good richness of colour. That sets you up for a wine with intense aromas of spice and cherries and rich, savoury flavours of cherry, blackberry, vanilla and spicy oak. 93 pts.

John Schreiner on Wine

A juicy, wild-ferment pinot with jammy concentration and notes of cherry, tobacco, spices, and cured meat. 90 pts.

Beppi Crosariol - The Globe and Mail

2017 SpearHead Pinot Noir Club Consensus

Medium translucent garnet in the glass.  Medium intensity developing aromatics that show sweet red fruit and cinnamon, smokiness and raspberries.  The cinnamon aroma hovers above the fruit aromas.  Some floral as well.  With decanting you can add ripe black cherries and vanilla to the nose.  The wine is slightly off-dry, lower acidity and tannins, and medium plus body and flavour intensity.  Semi-round mouthfeel.  Floral, red fruit and ripe raspberries with some minerality and chocolate.  Bramble leaf too.  Sweetish flavours. With decanting I also picked up black cherries on the palate.  Medium plus length ending peppery, with tart red fruits, oak, bramble leaf and light sweet spices.  Fine tannins.  More bramble leaf and oak with decanting on the finish.  Decanting did not make much difference other than adding black cherries, so open and enjoy.
 -   Sweet red fruit and cinnamon aromatics lead to slightly off-dry floral, ripe raspberry and red fruit flavours along with bramble leaf.

Karl Kliparchuk - My Wine Pal

As the story goes, SpearHead invited its wine club members to participate in a blending session for a club-only Pinot label, selecting from barrels of different Pinot clones from the winery's two primary vineyards; their home vineyard in East Kelowna and the Golden Retreat Vineyard in Summerland. Percentages of the 667, 777 and 828 clones selected for the finale blend have been withheld, but tasting the finished product, the consensus was, seemingly, to construct a vibrant, yet, approachable, red fruit and floral scented Pinot with front-loaded weight on the palate and a clean, crisp finish. Ready to go now. Drink now-2021. 88 pts.

Liam Carrier - Icon Wines

This wine has become something of a tradition at SpearHead: members of the wine club are asked to make the blend, selecting from barrels in the cellar. In some vintages, the wine has won gold medals in competition – a credit both to the underlying wines and the skill of the blenders. The wine begins with aromas of cherry and plum that are echoed on the palate. The tannins are silky. 91 pts.

John Schreiner on Wine

2017 SpearHead Pinot Noir Coyote Vineyard

 

The wine is dull medium garnet in colour; translucent rim to core.  The wine has above average intensity aromatics, that are toasty smoky, bramble and red fruit, cinnamon toast, oak, sweet candied cherries and a hint of floral.  The aromas for this wine ebb and flow into each other and I’d say are elusive in a good way.  With decanting you get floral plus lots of red fruit aromas, some bramble, and no cinnamon toast. The wine is dry with medium body and tannins, but above average acidity, giving it an angular mouthfeel.  With air, the mouthfeel becomes thicker and rounder, and the wine tastes slightly off-dry.  Flavours of sweet red fruit, sweet red cherries, and floral, with a touch of oak and minerality.  With decanting you get much more intense floral and red fruits on the palate.  Medium plus length finishing floral and peppery along with candied red cherry flavour and some cinnamon at the very end.   The amount of floral and red fruits and the thicker, rounder mouthfeel with air, makes me feel like I’m tasting two different wines.  I think decanting is the way to go with this wine.
 -   Lots of floral and red fruit aromas and flavours with decanting.  Thicker rounder mouthfeel as well.

Karl Kliparchuk - My Wine Pal

The wine begins with aromas of red berries and oak. Silky in texture, the wine has flavours of strawberry, raspberry and cherry. 93 pts.

John Schreiner on Wine

Rich spicy, toasty notes with a whiff of reduction that disappears with time in the glass is imbued with cherry, raspberry, forest berry and intense, dried thyme. Well balanced this medium bodied pinot is spice and scented by pink-peppercorns and roses. The tannins are gentle and well integrated, and the acidity rises to match its 14-degree frame of alcohol. A lovely new addition to the Spearhead, eccentric, single vineyard pinots. Drink or hold through 2022. 89 pts.

Treve Ring & Anthony Gismondi on Wine

2017 SpearHead Pinot Noir Golden Retreat

 

Deep garnet, around 80% opaque in colour.  Light intensity “closed” nose, with tomato, black cherries and red fruit aromas.  Decanting still left a light intensity nose, but I did get a hint of oak.  The wine is slightly off-dry, round with fuller body and flavour intensity and thicker mouthfeel.  Quite mineral, along with flavours of ripe cherries, raspberries, and floral.  Some milk chocolate flavour behind the fruit flavours on the mid-palate.  Light oak and fine tannins.  With decanting you get lots of floral perfume from this wine.  Medium plus length finishing pepper, with tart black and red fruits and oak flavour.  A little firmer tannins that fade quickly.  The tannins last longer with decanting.  I think this wine may be at an awkward stage in this evolution in the bottle.  Either cellar it for a few years, or decant before drinking.
 -   Closed nose with some black cherries, red fruits and oak.  Thicker mouthfeel with quite a floral, along with red fruit, raspberry and red cherry flavours with decanting.

Karl Kliparchuk - My Wine Pal

This is a full-bodied wine that will age well. It begins with dramatic aromas of cherry, dark fruits, earthy spice, even hints of red licorice. On the palate, the luscious fruits include plum and strawberry. 92 pts.

John Schreiner on Wine

Darker raspberry, black cherry, dark earth is carried on the medium-bodied, cool palate to a savoury, Worcestershire-scented finish. There's a welcome tart acidity to lift this easily to the finish making it very food-friendly. A lovely wine for duck or rabbit. 90 pts.

Anthony Gismondi on Wine

2017 SpearHead Chardonnay Clone 95

 

Medium plus intensity bright lemon with a green tinge colour.  Medium intensity, lifted complex aromatics of grapefruit, light lees, lemon, honey, bramble leaf, and hints of orange, vanilla and apple.  With air, this wine had deeper riper aromas of apple and pears. Very enjoyable aromatics.  The wine is dry, round with a rich, thick mouthfeel.  Medium acidity that leaves you with a slight prickle in your mouth.  Pears and apples mainly with lesser citrus, lime skin and a touch of bramble leaf, oak and vanilla.  Buttery mid plate to the finish.  With decanting the flavours really showed ripe pears and apples, along with some tropical fruit, while the lime skin aroma disappeared. Medium plus length that finishes with tart citrus skin and pith, some leafiness and pepperiness, and a hint of vanilla at the very end.  You can drink this wine now, but it can also be aged 3-5 years for more complexity.
  An exceptional quality Chardonnay.  Complex aromatics; grapefruit, apple, vanilla and bramble leaf.  Full, thick, rich and round on the palate.  Apple, pears and citrus with a touch of oak and vanilla.

Karl Kliparchuk - My Wine Pal

With grapes sourced from a vineyard on the Naramata Bench and from their home vineyard in East Kelowna, this Chardonnay, compiled of 100% clone 95 vines, offers a sensual and vibrant nose with rich, stone and citrus fruit aromas and a susurrus of macadamia nuts and green pineapple. A mouth-watering and RS-kissed, full-ish palate follows with a similar combination of bright and juicy fruit flavours and a wave of mineral and spice notes on the long finish. Should hold for 2-3 more years, if desired, but ready to go now. Sealed with a Stelvin cap to lock-in freshness. Drink now-2022. 89 pts.

Liam Carrier - Icon Wines

This barrel-fermented wine, made from a low-yielding French clone, begins with aromas of citrus, apple and vanilla. The wine is rich and creamy on the palate with flavours of citrus, apple and stone fruit. The alcohol is 14.5%, no doubt accounting for some of the power of this wine. 91 pts.

John Schreiner on Wine

92. From vineyards in East Kelowna and Naramata this 100% barrel fermented chardonnay took Gold at both national competitions. According to winemaker Grant Stanley Clone 95 from the Cote d'or in Burgundy is the go-to clone for top BC chardonnays, and one nose to the glass reveals that classic ripe pear/peach fruit of top Burgundies, packed with peat smoke, hazelnut, vanilla cream and baguette leesiness. It is certainly rich, generous and intense on the palate, and a touch sweet, but maintains equilibrium and a sense of freshness. The length is excellent to outstanding, with fruit staying in focus and keeping its cool despite 14.5% alcohol, while gentle brown spices and toast add to the complexity. This is splendid chardonnay. Tasted Feb 2020.

David Lawrason - Wine Align

2017 SpearHead Riesling

 

The Germans would call this a racy wine and would cellar it five to 10 years. The 7.8 grams of acid are balanced with eight grams of residual sugar, just enough to give the wine the palate tension one looks for in a good Riesling. It has aromas and flavours of lime, along with a steely spine of minerals. 91 pts.

John Schreiner on Wine

A crisp and raw Riesling with a youthful and masculine bouquet of citrus fruit rinds, peach stones, stainless steel and light, unpasteurized honey aromas. The tart palate offers similar notes showing great consistency from the nose with plenty of tense, lemon/lime and green apple acidity and finishing dry despite the 8g/l of residual sugar. Lingering, lemon thyme and lime zest flavours last through to the last sip. 89-90 pts.

Liam Carrier – Icon Wines

2017 SpearHead Pinot Gris

 

Ten percent of the juice was fermented in two-year-old French oak barrels while the rest was cold fermented in stainless steel. It has aromas and flavours of peaches and pears with a crisp and dry finish. The winery says drink this “now or cellar for 3 to 5 years.” I would rest it for two or three months for optimal development of aromas and flavour. 90 pts.

John Schreiner on Wine

The grapes for this pinot gris are sourced from the warm and sunny Golden Retreat Vineyard near Summerland. The result is a deliciously flinty and herbal pinot gris with dominant fruit notes of pear and citrus. 89 pts.

Heather Rankin – Wine Align

2017 SpearHead White Pinot Noir

 

It is not easy to make a white wine from red pinot noir grapes. Nor is it common to do so. But the process, which involves fermenting clear juice away form the dark, colour bearing skins, can pay dividends, as it has for some Oregonian wineries and, now, for SpearHead in The Okanagan. This is a pale yellow, resembling an Italian pinot grigio. Very dry and crisp, it shows lemon, pear and lemon fruit accompanied by an uncanny aromatic quality of stone dust (as being downwind from a working quarry). Let it warm slightly after you pull it from the fridge; it opens up. 89 pts.

Beppi Crosariol – Globe and Mail

White Pinot Noir is rarely made but when you taste this crisp and aromatic white, you will wonder why more is not made. It is made from essentially free run juice after gently pressing whole bunches. It begins with aromas of apples and white peaches, which are echoed on the palate. The lively acidity, balanced with a touch of residual sugar, gives lift to the savoury flavours. 91 pts.

John Schreiner on Wine

A pinot noir harvested for its white wine potential from multiple sights in the Okanagan Valley, carefully pressed to minimize any skin contact producing a brilliant, near colourless, ultra aromatic Summer sipper. Full(ish) and rich in texture and depth, yet, very well balanced by fresh apricot acidity. Look for a medley of orchard fruit aromas and flavours and serve confidently on its own or pair it with halibut. Citrus peel notes and a hint of spice linger on the long finish. 90 pts.

Liam Carrier – Icon Wines

2017 SpearHead Pinot Noir Rosé

 

The pretty strawberry-pink colour hints at the uncanny strawberry flavour in the bottle. A superbly balanced, lip-smacking dry wine, it also offers a note of refreshing watermelon. 91 pts.

Beppi Crosariol – Globe and Mail

This wine was made with subsequent pressings of the grapes used for the White Pinot Noir. The wine’s delicate rose petal hue is the result 48 hours of skin contact. It begins with aromas of raspberries and has flavours of raspberry and strawberry. It is balanced to finish dry. 90 pts.

John Schreiner on Wine

2016 SpierHead Pinot Noir

 

The Spierhead pinot white label is the winery workhorse, responsible for about 60 percent of the production and frankly it has settled into a reliable, authentic drop of pinot noir. It’s crafted to reflect the Spierhead house, one I have said on other occasions is more Oregon than California, with a nod to Burgundy. Far less heat in 2016 has allowed the lighter, fresher, cooler style to return. It spends a less than a year in wood allowing it to come out of the barrels with juicy, bright red berry fruit aromas and flavours with a hint of savoury underbrush, compost and licorice. All you could want in a ready-to-drink easy-sipping style point noir that we have only come to know in the Okanagan. Veal chops, pork and or grilled salmon all work here. 89 pts

Anthony Gismondi - Vancouver Sun

2016 SpierHead Pinot Noir GFV Saddle Block

 

Gentleman Farmer Vineyard, Spearhead’s East Kelowna home vineyard, is shaped like a saddle, hence the Saddle Block label moniker. In 2016 all the original plantings of Dijon clones 115, 777 and 828 made it into the wine blended 70/15/15. This has much wider appeal in 2016 with soft, slippery, supple fruit redolent in strawberry, tea and cherry notes, and with cinnamon and star anise in the back end. Tannins remain gentle. Think salmon sushi, pork belly or cedar plank grilled salmon. 90 pts

Anthony Gismondi - Vancouver Sun

Lots of interest here from the start. Pepper and cola spice with a light herbal character all play to one another harmoniously. Firm in its youth, this wine will evolve over a short period with its savoury and floral nature revealing itself more and more. 92 pts.

Brent Muller – Wine Align

2016 SpierHead Pinot Noir Cuvee

 

SpierHead Pinot Noir Cuvee is a selection of the winery’s best barrels. It’s always made in limited quantities and it disappears fast. In 2016 the mix is 35% Dijon 115, 25% Dijon 667, 25% Dijon 828 and 15% Pommard. The nose is a savoury mix of dried herbs, tea, beef au jus, and the flavours are dry dark plums and cherries followed by smoke and oak. Rich and robust but with just enough restraint to still be Pinot-like. 91 pts.

Anthony Gismondi – Vancouver Sun

The Cuvee is a blend of Dijon and Pommard clones from the winery’s East Kelowna estate vineyard and successfully expresses the uniqueness of the terroir along with classic BC Pinot characters. Look for typical aromas and flavours of creamy raspberry and tangy cherry fruit, sweet earth and vanilla, finishing with a long touch of spice and Black Forest Cake notes. 90pts.

Liam Carrier – Icon Wines

Aromas of dried herbs and rose petal, Bing cherries and a hint of sassafras. The palate is bright and lively with elegant tannins. Flavours of ripe plum and cherry with savoury notes and a whisper of toasty oak make for a bold Pinot Noir with enough restraint to maintain that desirable Pinot Noir verve. 91 pts.

Alanna McIntyre – Wine Align

Deep garnet, dull in colour; again the dullness from being unfined and unfiltered. Medium intensity nose, youthful with aromas of bramble, bramble leaves, red fruit, raspberry, and lesser amounts of black fruit, cedar, vanilla and nutmeg. With decanting the raspberry aroma takes on a smoky character, and the cedar component decreases. Dry, and round, light bodied, with medium acidity and tannins. Smooth with an acid backbone. Flavours of raspberry and red cherry, with the fruit becoming sweeter mid-palate. There is also some perfume on the mid-palate. The wine with decanting becomes more prominent with cherry and perfume, as well as some chocolate. Medium plus length, finishing with sweet and tart red fruit, along with bramble fruit and some bitterness. Finishes light and airy, with soft tannins. With decanting, overall the wine is fuller bodied, with more cherry flavour, and a peppery finish. An elegant, feminine pinot noir. 

Karl Kliparchuk - My Wine Pal

92. Tasted a bit later in its life, this fine pinot is showing garnet red evolution and a slight haze, which suggest non-filtration (common with this grape). The nose has reached a state of grace where sour red cherry and plum fruit ebbs and flows with florals, wood spice and considerable B.C. herbality, which is somewhere between dried herbs and pine needles. It is medium weight, soft and almost plush with moderate acidity and very fine tannin. It is warm but not hot, with excellent length. Ready to drink and should maintain for three to five years. Comparatives stray more into Oregon here, even California, not because it was a blistering summer overall, but early warm weather did prolong the ripening. Tasted Feb 2020.

David Lawrason - Wine Align

2016 SpierHead Pinot Noir Golden Retreat

 

Very charming with lots of appeal. The wine shows a very juicy and likeable character. It is softly structured and will provide immediate pleasure over the next couple of years. 89 pts.

Brad Royale – Wine Align

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