2015 ALDER SPRINGS VINEYARD Pinot Noir Mendocino
The Alder Springs Vineyard is located 12 miles west of the Pacific Ocean, overlooking the town of Laytonville in the center of Mendocino County. The fruit for the Spell wines comes from three distinct blocks located at an elevation between 1700 to 1900 feet on a Southeastern facing slope. 3 Tiers, which makes up the majority of the blend, is planted to Dijon clone 459 and heritage clones of DRC and Calera. The Upper West Vineyard is planted to Dijon clones 667 and 777 and the Upper Vineyard is planted to Dijon clones 115, 667, and 777. The low-vigor, volcanic-based soils produce wines of distinctive old world character.
Vivid violet in color, ripe raspberry, cedar, clay, smoke, peat, and fresh roasted coffee drift from the bowl. Youthful red fruit flavors, juniper berry, espresso and a mineral element are seamlessly balanced with powdery-dry tannins and lively acidity. A massive wine that will require some cellaring before blossoming into a beautiful wine. Those with patience and cellar space will truly be rewarded in 3 to 5 years.
Oak: 100% French oak; 43% new oak, 14% once used and 43% older.
Clones: Dijon 459, 115, 667, and 777, selections of Calera and DRC
Harvest Dates: September 10, 2015
Bottled: August 10, 2016
Cases Produced: 75
- Connoisseur's Guide Score: 89
Not wildly different from its companion from the Weir Vineyard and showing the solidity and structural firmness of a Pinot that clearly calls for age, this one similarly possesses a core of essential ripe cherry fruit but presently fights without quite the same degree of success to overcome its truncating, back-palate astringency. There is no question but that it will age into better, yet an extra year or two in the bottle may be needed before it fully sheds its finishing tannic bite.
- The Corkscrewer Report, Johannes Marlena Score: 95
A brambly nose of wild black & blue fruit and wildflowers tells you immediately you’re in for a Pinot of lovely rustic personality. The fruit quality is so fresh, it’s like tasting fruit off the vine—and the acidity of dark cherries on the finish so refreshing on the palate. The wine has a large personality, largely chewy and concentrated, with a note of blueberry prominent. Powdery tannins add a dose of masculinity to what is otherwise a voluptuous wine. The voluptuousness is not a Mae West brashness but more Marilyn Monroe curves and roundness. Overall, a vivid beauty—a Pinot Noir painted in primary colors.
- International Wine Report Score: 91
Set roughly ten miles from the Pacific Ocean, the Alder Springs Vineyard has a range of Pinot Noir clones planted including Dijon clones 115, 667, 777, 459, DRC selection and Calera selection. This wine begins with aromas of black forest cake, strawberry, guava puree and suggestions of orange zest. There are ripe flavors of strawberry, guava, pomegranate, lemon rind and blood orange. This shows a lovely minerality and light tannic backbone as it is another outstanding Pinot Noir made by Spell Estate head winemaker Andrew Berge. (Best 2017-2027) – April, 2017 (OB)