Spierhead Pinot Noir 2010
Last year I was really impressed by the Spierhead’s take on riesling, which showed none of the yips one would expect from a new winery. This year they’re doubling down on the difficulty scale by bringing out a pinot, the pinnacle of challenge in winemaking. Like the Riesling, they’re not taking the easy route—they’re eschewing the relatively forgiving style popular in parts of California, which sees plenty of fruit on the palate and plenty of alcohol on the label. Instead they’re going full burgundy: elegance, even austerity, and above all, balance. It’s not an easy road because there isn’t a backup if the goods aren’t there. Luckily it’s a success. It’s not perfect—there are some minor issues on the length of the finish—but it’s the type of wine that I imagine I’ll enjoy more and more with each successive vintage. And for this freshman effort, they’ve taken the rare and welcome tact of pricing the wine waaaay below the competition: $17.90, making it the lowest priced serious pinot in the Okanagan.