all about Spell Chardonnay 2014
“Where there’s Pinot Noir, there’s Chardonnay”
(from Madeline Puckette’s Wine Folly, “5 Facts about Pinot Noir”
– which by the way is an amazing resource for all things wine!)
“Chardonnay is actually related to Pinot Noir. It’s a natural crossing of Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc (the near extinct variety mentioned above! (inset: Pinot Noir ranks with some of the oldest grapes in the world. Grapes that have been around since the Roman times also include Muscat Blanc — the Moscato grape, Timorasso, a rare white grape with only 50 acres around Piedmont Italy; and nearly extinct Gouais Blanc, which supposedly was ‘the grape’ of the middle ages in Europe. ). This is why Chardonnay and Pinot Noir always seem to grow together (such as in Oregon, Burgundy, and Chile). While I’m rambling on this topic, the same relationship is true between Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, which is why regions like Bordeaux and Napa both grow Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc. Aha!”
-Madeline Puckette, Wine Folly, April 18, 2014
Original Source: 5 Facts About Pinot Noir
Accolades for the Spell 2014 Chardonnay Russian River Valley
89 Points; Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wine
Smelling and tasting of very juicy red apples and tempering its proclivities to palatal plumpness and size with plenty of decidedly zesty acidity, this is the uncommon Chardonnay that successfully manages to be unabashedly ripe and reasonably well-balanced at one and the same time. It begins and ends with fruit to the fore even as a touch of heat peeks through in the finish, and, if it is hard to see elegance in its future, it is a rich, fairly flavorful offering all the same.
91 Points; Millennial Drinkers wine blog
Final bottle from the Spell Estate is their Chardonnay from the Dutton Sullivan Vineyard. Clear yellow with a hint of gold and some green. Very tight initially. Finally after a few hours there were some white fruits, light tropical and citrus notes. A bit of honeysuckle too. Very refreshing with a creamy texture. Moderate acidity (6.5/10) with some green apples, citrus and cooked pears. A little zesty too. Light bodied and long finish. Drink till 2020.
Made of 100% Chardonnay from the Wente clone of Chardonnay. This fruit is sourced from the Dutton Sullivan Vineyard, which is located in the Russian River Valley AVA. With close proximity to the Pacific Ocean the day starts with warm sunny days and then followed by cool foggy evenings. All vines have extremely small clusters and berries that have lead to extraordinary flavors and texture. Aged in 100% French oak of which 30% is new.
San Francisco Chronicle Silver Medal
This is fruity, offering mango, fruit cocktail, pineapple and spice notes, with an edgy texture and a finish highlighted by pithy grapefruit and citrus flavors. Drink now. 243 cases made. –JL
91 Points; International Wine Report
The 2014 Spell Estate ‘Russian River Valley’ Chardonnay is showing beautifully right now. It is sourced from the Dutton Sullivan Vineyard was planted in 1982 with a selection of Wente clones. Aged in French oak (33% new), this begins with creamy aromatics of creme brûlée, wild mushrooms, bananas foster and heavy whipping cream. This leads to flavors of orange creamcicle, lemon zest, Gala Apple and brioche. Lovely balance with nice ripeness. Only 243 cases made. (Best 2016-2022) – March, 2016 (OB)
Spell Chardonnay 2014
Russian River Valley | 243 cases produced
The vineyard for the Spell Chardonnay is located less than a mile west of the town of Graton in Sonoma County, the Dutton Sullivan Vineyard was planted in 1982 to a heritage selection of Wente Chardonnay on its own rootstock. With its proximity to the Pacific Ocean the growing season of warm, sunny days followed by cool, foggy evenings allows for a slow and even ripening. The extremely small clusters and berries grown at this vineyard produce wines of remarkable flavor and texture.
A hazy golden-green color introduces aromas of green apple skin, red velvet cake, and reductive crushed rocks. A creamy blend of lemon curd, green apple, ripe pear, and toasted oats sweep across the palate. Extremely soft and seductive on the palate, the finish is heightened by bright acidity and savory minerality. Slightly more balanced than previous vintages this should be another exceptional wine. Enjoy now or over the next 2 – 4 years.
Oak: 100% French; 33% new oak, 33% twice used and 33% older.
Vineyard: Dutton Sullivan Vineyard
Harvest Dates: September 24, 2014
Bottled: January 26, 2016