SPELL Estate

Owner(s) Bill Spell, Tiki Spell
Web site www.spellestate.com
 
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SPELL Estate

Spell was launched by owners Bill and Tiki Spell in 2007 with Shane Finley, an assistant winemaker at Kosta Browne Winery in Sebastopol, CA, at the time, as the winemaker. Finley was replaced by Andrew Berge, a German ex-patriot who learned his winemaking with stints in New Zealand, California and Germany.

The Pinot Noirs are made from grapes sourced in Sonoma County and Mendocino County. The wines are sold through a mailing list

Reviewed Wines

2013 SPELL Russian River Valley Chardonnay

15.0% alc., 98 cases, $38. Sourced from Dutton-Sullivan Vineyard planted in 1982 to a Wente selection of Chardonnay on its own rootstock. Aged in 100% French oak barrels, 25% new, 50% twice-used and 25% older. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Delicate aromas of peach, pineapple and grilled lemon. Rich and luscious on the palate, with appealing flavors of peach, citrus, poached apple and caramel. The alcohol is well integrated, the texture is slightly creamy, and there is some finishing fruit persistence. Score: 89. Reviewed June 14, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 SPELL Nicole’s Blend Sonoma County Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 575 cases, $39. Sourced from DeVoto, Terra de Promissio, Umino and Alder Springs vineyards. Aged in 100% French oak barrels, 30% new, 30% once-used, and 40% older. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very fragrant aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, Asian 5-spice and a hint of peppercorn which build in intensity over time in the glass. Smooth and harmonious in the mouth, with flavors of dark red cherry and berry fruits. Very forward drinking, with minimal dry tannins and good intensity on the finish. This is the most approachable and easy drinking wine in the 2013 SPELL lineup. Score: 90. Reviewed June 14, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 SPELL Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino County Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 126 cases, $48. Dijon 459, 115, 667 and 777, and heritage clones of DRC and Calera. Low-vigor volcanic soils located 12 miles west of the Pacific Ocean. Aged in 100% French oak barrels, 43% new, 14% once-used, and 43% older. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Very shy nose, even when checked two days after opening. Fresh cherry and cranberry fruit flavors with a hint of citrus, good cut and balanced tannins, but lacks mid palate intensity and finish. Didn't really become exuberant when tasted two days after opening. Enjoyable, but not enthralling. Score: 88. Reviewed June 14, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 SPELL Umino Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 121 cases, $48. Wine club exclusive. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very shy nose, even when checked two days after opening, revealing delicate aromas of black cherry, spice and toasty oak. A luscious wine, sporting earth-kissed black cherry fruit accented with oak. Fat and full but no excess sweetness. The captivating texture is very silky, plush and tres Pinot. A bit reserved and tight, the wine was better two days after opening when tasted from an re-corked bottle. Give this wine another year or two in the cellar. Score: 90. Reviewed June 14, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 SPELL Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 164 cases, $48. Aged in 100% French oak barrels, 43% new, 28.5% once-used and 28.5% older. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of cherry, wood fern, and pennyroyal. Juicy, with vibrant red fruits framed by muscular tannins. Much better two days after opening when tasted from an re-corked bottle, showing more harmony and less astringency on the finish. Decant or hold for two years. Score: 90-91. Reviewed June 14, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 SPELL Terra de Promissio Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 100 cases, $58. Vineyard is planted to clones 115 and 777 and is located in the Petaluma Gap region of the Sonoma Coast AVA. Primarily 115 with a tiny amount of 777. Aged in 100% French oak barrels, 50% new, 25% once-used and 25% older. · Medium reddish purple hue in the glass. Fresh aromas of earthy black fruits. Aggressive attack of dark red and black stone and berry fruits accented with a hint of white pepper and spice. Very suave and definitely earthy, with a pleasing blackberry-infused finish which leaves a hint of heat in its wake. Score: 92. Reviewed June 14, 2015 ARTICLE »

2012 SPELL Nichole’s Blend Sonoma County Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.59, 902 cases, $39. A blend of grapes from Lorenzo, Hurst, DeVoto, Marimar, Terre de Promissio and Alder Springs vineyards. Aged in 25% new, 25% once used, and 50% older French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of cherry cobbler, raspberry coulis and baking spices. Elegant in the mouth with tangy acidity, featuring black cherry and raspberry flavors. Pleasant, with modest tannins and easy approachability. Slow to open and may benefit from another 6 to 12 months in bottle. Score: 87. Reviewed February 22, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 SPELL Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.58, 149 cases, $50. Dijon 459, 115, 667 and 777, Calera and “DRC” selections. Aged in 40% new, 25% once used and 35% older French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Pleasant array of aromas including cherry, berry, forest floor and oak spice. Discreetly concentrated but intensely flavored darker red berries and black plums with an earthy bent. The wine offers a generous acid backbone and balanced firm, dry tannins with a smooth texture. Very typical of this vineyard in my experience. About the same the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 89. Reviewed February 22, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 SPELL Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.60, 194 cases, $50. Rochioli and “DRC” selection, Pommard and 2A clones. Aged in 40% new, 25% once used and 35% older French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is initially closed for business, emerging very reluctantly over time in the glass to reveal aromas of Hoison sauce, soy and wet leaves. Mid weight core of luscious black raspberry and plum fruit, supported by balanced tannins, finishing with a thrust of fresh berry joy. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle, the wine had opened up considerably, offering copious fruit and spice aromas and flavors. This wine will require patience and understanding. Score: 91. Reviewed February 22, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 SPELL Marimar Estate Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.61, 148 cases, $72. Sourced from the Dona Margarita Vineyard located in Freestone. Pommard 4 and Dijon 115 clones. Aged in 40% new, 25% once used and 35% older French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Fresh aromas of raspberry tart, cherry glaze and spice. A polished wine with broad flavors of black cherry and red raspberry with an earthy underpinning. The oak is nicely integrated and the tannins are modest and focused. About the same the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Seems to need more patience. Score: 90. Reviewed February 22, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 SPELL Terra de Promissio Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.60, 148 cases, $72. Clone 115. Aged in 40% new, 25% once used and 35% older French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. Very appealing nose with highly aromatic raspberry coulis scent. Beguiling middleweight flavors of fresh, dark cherries and raspberries, enveloped in submerged tannins, finishing long and generous with zippy acidity. Highly satisfying and easy to drink now. Score: 90. Reviewed February 22, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 SPELL Nichole’s Blend Sonoma County Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 245 cases, $39. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Very shy, but pleasant nose offering primarily black cherry fruit. A cherry lovers delight with complimentary hints of cola and spice. Smooth and balanced with soft tannins and some cherry driven length on the finish. Good. Reviewed May 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 SPELL Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 100 cases, $50. · Medium reddishpurple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherries, dark berry liquor, spice and an earthy-clay note typical of this vineyard. Mid weight cherry, berry and plum flavors with firm, balanced tannins, and a mineral-driven note of iron. Finishes with a zing of citrusy acidity. Very good. Reviewed May 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 SPELL Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 90 cases, $50. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Highly fragrant in the glass with aromas of darker berries and cherries, rose petals, and the inside of a well-perfumed woman's leather glove. Ambrosial on the palate with layers of flavor including cherry, raspberry and pomegranate. This wine has the most tannin in the 2011 lineup, but enough fruit to take it on. The good acidity gives the wine vigor and the finish is ridiculously long. This is one of those wines that makes you sit back in your chair, smile and exclaim, “Wow!” I have had several great wines from this vineyard and this one joins the crew. Reviewed May 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 SPELL Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

13.4% alc.., 90 cases, $50. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Incredibly fragrant, alive with aromas of black cherries, dark berries, dark red rose petals, mocha, and baking spice. Intense, delicious mid palate flavors of cherry pie glaze, black raspberry, purple plum, spice, and dark chocolate with a touch of oak in the background. Plenty of acid-driven vigor and balanced tannins. Soft in the mouth and easy to drink. The finish is outrageously long, juicy and intense. Drink. Score: 95. Reviewed September 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 SPELL Marimar Estate Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 90 cases, $72. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Wild and exotic on the nose with aromas of fresh-picked berries, grapes, spice and cut flowers. A delightful wine that aims to please with appealing black raspberry and black cherry flavors and a touch of spice. Seamless and polished with gentle tannins and a cherry cola finish. Very good. Reviewed May 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 SPELL Nicole’s Blend Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 252 cases, $37. Winemaker Andrew Berge. Sourced from Terra de Promissio Vineyard east of the town of Petaluma and Miron Vineyard in the Sebastopol Hills. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of red pie cherries, baking spices and sandalwood. Middleweight flavors of cherries with a hint of tobacco and herbs, displaying admirable finesse and some finishing strength. Russian River Valley in character. Very good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 SPELL Guidici Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 150 cases, $39. Winemaker Shane Finley. The vineyard is located just outside the small town of Occidental amidst towering redwoods. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of fresh deep red cherries and strawberries with a hint of spice. Rich and bold in character, with plentiful and attention-grabbing deep red and black fruits backed by muscular tannins and bright acidity. Addictive flavor in this wine. Very good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 SPELL Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 175 cases, $39. Crafted by Shane Finley. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Intensely aromatic featuring a perfume of dark raspberries and blackberries with a lovely accent of spice. Infused with vivid flavors of black raspberry jam and tea leaf, currently dominated by firm, dry tannins. Impressive length on the well-endowed finish. This is a remarkable vineyard. Very good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2007 SPELL Barton Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 45 cases, $47. The Barton Vineyard is located just outside the Green Valley sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley on Vine Hill Road. Clones 115 and Pommard. 25% whole cluster fermentation, aged 20 months in 50% new French oak, unfined and unfiltered. · Enticing and penetrating aromas of strawberries, raspberries, cola, baking spices and sandalwood. Very “Russian Riveresque” and I loved it. Red fruit driven flavors which are leaner than the Weir bottling but enough richness to satisfy. Very smoothly textured and nicely balanced. Will get even better in another one to two years. Reviewed April 18, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 SPELL Weir Vineyard Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 120 cases, $47. The Weir vineyard is owned and farmed by Bill and Suki Weir and is located at elevations of 850 to 1000 feet on south and southwest facing gentle slopes. Clones 2A, Rochioli and DRC suitcase. 20% whole cluster fermentation, aged 10 months in 40% new French oak, unfined and unfiltered. · Dark reddish-violet color. Needs time to open. Brooding dark cherry and berry fruit aromas and flavors with a touch of citric peel on the back end. Flamboyant tannins coat the mouth and need time to be shed. The succulent fruit became more accessible in the opened bottle as I sampled it later in the day. If you open it now, drink it with a big ribeye steak. Reviewed April 18, 2009 ARTICLE »