Follow The Prince
twitter icon rss icon

Briceland Vineyards

Owner(s) Joe Collins
Web site bricelandvineyards.com
 
Link to this site
Briceland Vineyards

A small producer (2,000 cases) of Pinot Noir, Syrah, white varietals and sparkling wine from grapes grown in Humboldt County, Mendocino County and Lake County in Northern California. Briceland Vineyards, located in the tiny town of Briceland in southern Humboldt County, was founded in 1985, and today winemaker Joe Collins and his lifelong partner, Maggie Carey, operate this modest winery. Collins was trained at University of California at Davis and has over 35 years of winemaking and winegrowing experience. He pioneered winegrowing in southern Humboldt County when he planted an experimental vineyard in the region in the 1970s. He was involved in the planning, establishment and management of practically all the early vineyards in the area which is most suited to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Most of the red wine production at Briceland Vineyards is Pinot Noir, sourced from neighbors who farm tiny hillside vineyards in the Redway and Myers Flat area. Collins' stepson, Andrew Morris, is the apprentice winemaker.

The wines are not sold directly online. Contact andrew@bricelandvineyards.com or 707-923-2429.

Reviewed Wines

2012 Briceland Vineyards Spirit Canyon Vineyard Mendocino County Arneis

13.1% alc., $17. Arneis is an Italian grape known as the “white Nebbiolo.” Historically it was blended to soften the tannins of Barolo and but has become a new varietal on its own. Less than 100 acres planted in California. Vines planted and organically grown by Glen McCourty, the California Extension Agriculture Agent for Mendocino and Lake Counties. · Very pale yellow color and clear in the glass. Charming aromas of tropical fruits, banana and pear. An interesting array of flavors including Poire William, lemon, wax, and a touch of “minerality” and lime zest. Good creamy texture with vibrant acidity. A distinctive aromatic white wine that is perfect for the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) crowd. Score: 90. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2012 Briceland Vineyards Humboldt County Chardonnay

13.8% alc., $21. From Ronda’s Vineyard in Southern Humboldt County and Ishi Pishi Ranch near Orleans in northeastern Humboldt County. All stainless steel fermented. 100% malolactic fermentation. · Very light yellow color and clear in the glass. Slight spritz upon pouring. Aromas of lemon curd, apple, honey and buttered popcorn. Pleasant but delicate flavors of lemon and green apple with a good cut of acidity and a brisk finish featuring lemon-lime zest. Score: 85. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2012 Briceland Vineyards Lolonis Vineyard Mendocino County Chardonnay

13.9% alc., $21. Produced from certified organic grapes. Stainless steel fermented with no malolactic fermentation. · Light straw color and clear in the glass. Lemon-scented nose with hints of grapefruit, apple butter and buttered brioche. Moderately intense flavors of lemongrass, lime and apple with the slightest note of dried herbs. Sound acids and good grip with a crisp finish make for very pleasurable drinking. Score: 90. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2012 Briceland Vineyards Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 150 cases, $32. Aged 12 months in a combination of French and Virginia American oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Smells of a walk in a redwood forest with scents of timber, balsam, and dark cherries. Flavors of black cherry, raspberry, blackberry and umami pick up intensity over time in the glass. Modest in weight and quite charming, with fine-grain tannins and a lengthy finish. I suspect this wine will benefit from more time in bottle. Score: 89. Reviewed January 20, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Briceland Vineyards Ronda’s Vineyard Humboldt County Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 78 cases, $35. Vineyard is situated at 1600 feet elevation above the fog line a few miles west and north of Briceland. · Dark plum color in the glass. Vibrant aromas of purple berries, plum reduction sauce and violets. Packed with boysenberry and black plum fruit and long in the mouth with a huge fruit-driven finish. The tannins overwhelm the fruit at this stage and the wine should achieve more tannin integration with additional time in the cellar. Close to Syrah in intensity, but retains enough pinot charm to be embraceable. Score: 88. Reviewed January 20, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Briceland Vineyards Humboldt County Sauvignon Blanc

Table wine, 128 cases, $18. · Pale straw color in the glass. Typical varietal aromas of grass, herbs and citrus. Crisp and refreshing with flavors of lime zest, hay, grass, grapefruit with a mineral undertone. A grassy style with a pleasing mouthfeel and a dry finish. Good. Reviewed October 2, 2012 ARTICLE »

2011 Briceland Vineyards Humboldt County Chardonnay

Table wine, 135 cases, $21. Raised in stainless steel, no malolactic fermentation. · Light straw hue in the glass. Faint aromas of butter, pink grapefruit, ocean air and yeast. Nutty and citrusy in a reserved style with a smooth, easy drinking manner. Good. Reviewed October 2, 2012 ARTICLE »

2011 Briceland Vineyards Bosco Vineyard Humboldt County Pinot Noir

Table wine, 65 cases, $27. This vineyard is about a mile from the winery on the western side of Briceland. Aged 6 months in oak. · Moderately light reddish color in the glass. A chameleon of a nose, changing constantly, but at times offering aromas of red berries, underbrush, bay leaf, and beet root. Delicious core of savory and spicy dark red berries complimented by a hint of oak. A spirited wine with a wellbalanced tannin load that is soft in the mouth and finishes with modest length. Very good. Reviewed October 2, 2012 ARTICLE »

2011 Briceland Vineyards Phelps Vineyard Humboldt County Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $27. A relatively warm site in a cool year farmed by Pam and Todd Phelps. Small yields due to poor crop set which also led to less firm tannins and concentration. Aged 12 months in oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Brooding aromas of dark red berry preserves and forest floor. Real density and intensity of flavor with structured tannins and an amazingly long finish. Dark red cherries and berries are at the core which has a savory undertone. Score: 91. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Briceland Vineyards Ronda’s Vineyard Humboldt County Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 50 cases, $29. Formerly Le Chien Blanc Vineyard. Located at 1600 feet elevation northwest of Briceland Vineyards. Slowed ripening in this vintage so more acid and less tannin than typical for this site. Aged 18 months in oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is intoxicating with fresh aromas of racy raspberry, red cherry, spice and sandalwood. Refreshingly crisp on the palate with charming flavors of fresh red raspberries and cherries caressed by supple tannins and framed by mouthwatering acidity. Not a fruit bomb by any means, but plenty of flavor without weight and great pinotosity. Score: 92. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Briceland Vineyards Reserve Humboldt County Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 25 cases, $45. Inaugural offering. A blend of 2011 vintages from Bosco, Phelps and Ronda’s vineyards. Aged 18 months in oak barrels. · The nose is rather shy, offering only a hint of dark red fruit and oak aromas. The flavor profile is more developed with delicious notes of perfectly ripened black cherries, black raspberries and plum underlain with hints of graham and cardamom spice. The fruit has real presence on the palate and offers layers of pleasure. Beautifully balanced with well-integrated acidity and tannins. Very impressive length on the peacock tail finish. This wine needs more time in the cellar for the nose to catch up to the palate. Score: 95. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Briceland Vineyards Spirit Canyon Vineyard Mendocino County Arneis

Table wine, $17. Arneis is often called the “white Nebbiolo.” This Italian grape was discovered sparsely interplanted with Nebbiolo grapes in the Italian Piedmont region. Some say because the grape ripens earlier than black Nebbiolo, it was offered to marauding bees plaguing the vineyards. Recently the grape has found its way to California where it is planted along the Russian River south of Ukiah by Glenn McGourty at his Spirit Canyon Vineyard. · Pale straw color with a hint of peach shade in the glass. Aromas of green apple, baked pear and marzipan. Light to medium-weighted and creamy on the palate with flavors of green apple, pear, apricot and a slightly grassy, nutty note. An easy drinking wine that would be an ideal aperitif or the perfect accompaniment to shellfish. Surprise your friends! Very good. Reviewed November 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2010 Briceland Vineyards Lolonis Vineyard Mendocino County Chardonnay

Table wine, $21. Crafted from certified organically grown grapes. · Pale straw color in the glass. Fresh aromas of rocky stream, lemon curd and buttered brioche. Slightly creamy on the palate with restrained but satisfying flavors of pears, white peach and citrus complimented by subtle oak. Flows off the back of the palate like a silk sheet in retreat. Beautifully crafted. Reviewed November 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2010 Briceland Vineyards Humboldt County Pinot Noir

Table wine, 165 cases, $23. 25th vintage. Season cut short by rain so each of the three vineyards from which fruit was sourced were blended (Phelps, Ronda’s and Elk Prarie vineyards). · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The aromatics pick up interest and power over time in the glass offering scents of dark red berries and plums. Discreetly concentrated,sporting ever expanding flavors of dark red berries backed by muscular tannins which need more time to integrate. Finishes with a very pleasing persistence of perfectly ripe fruit. Very enjoyable and equally fine the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very good. Reviewed October 2, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Briceland Vineyards Lake County Syrah

14.5% alc., 180 cases, $21. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry jam, black currants and white pepper. Soft in the mouth and modest in intensity with a core of sweet blackberry and black grape fruit. Hints of tobacco, pepper and dark chocolate add interest. Noticeable length on the finish that offers a bevy of black fruit and a hint of heat. Good. Reviewed October 2, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Briceland Vineyards Elk Prarie Vineyard Humboldt County Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 125 cases, $27. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Bright aromas of black cherries, blueberries, sandalwood, forest floor and vanillin increasing in appeal over time in the glass. Complex and nuanced, with flavors of raspberries, ripe strawberries, cherries, baking spice, cinnamon, and sassafras. Strikes a chord on the mid palate, elegantly soft in texture, finishing with modest but pleasing intensity. There is plenty going on in this chameleon of a wine which changes constantly in the glass. Outstanding. Reviewed November 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Bricelands Vineyards Elk Prarie Vineyard Humboldt County Pinot Noir

Table wine, 125 cases, $27. 23rd vintage. The vineyard is situated on a ridge that separates the Main Fork and South fork of the Eel River which provides a cooling influence. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is highly perfumed, bright and fruity, featuring well-spiced cherry aromas. Silky and seamless on the palate, with juicy flavors of cherries, raspberries, cranberries and a touch of loamy earth, finishing with aromatic purity and soft, sandy tannins. A wine that aims to please with its teasing pinotosity. Very good (+). Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Bricelands Vineyards Phelps Vineyard Humboldt County Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 50 cases, $27. Phelps Vineyard is located on Elk Ridge and is farmed by Pam and Todd Phelps. Aged 1 year in French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Aromatically a bit shy initially, but builds in intensity over time in the glass becoming rather flamboyant and displaying scents of ripe, savory dark red fruits. Delicious, even striking, display of dark red stone fruits that fan out on the palate with subtle notes of Asian spice and plum sauce. Elegant and silky textured with remarkable persistence on the pleasing finish. A steamy seductress. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

2002 Briceland Vineyards Elk Prairie Vineyard Humboldt County Pinot Noir

14.7% alc.. Briceland Vineyards is located at 5959 Briceland Rd, Redway, CA 95560. 707-923-2429. Tasting by appointment. Several white varietals and sparkling wine are also produced. · The nose is oak-driven with flashes of heat. A decent core of fruit features dark cherries and plums with a kiss of earth and shrooms. The finish is clean and bright. Reviewed May 7, 2007 ARTICLE »