We don’t go in for wine scores here at WL so I’m alwayss searching for words to convey the passion (or disdain) I feel for a particular wine in a way that the reader hopefully gets. It occurred to me recently that one of the best signifiers for me is that panicked feeling I get, immediately after I’ve tasted a wine that wows me, that it might sell out before I get my paws on some. I had that feeling at a recent BC Wine Institute tasting, where Master of Wine Rhys Pender had selected 3 BC pinots to be tasted blind with 3 international pinots. One of the BC pinots was the new 2011 vintage of Spierhead—it was vibrant and alive and it felt like it was jumping out of the glass. I immediately fretted that I wouldn’t be able to buy enough of it. Oddly it wasn’t my #1 wine—that turned out be a $65 bottle of Gevrey Chambertin from Burgundy, which didn’t give that panicked feeling in the least. Drinking the Spierhead I felt proud of the wine for some reason, and not just for the pinot but for the winery’s excellent riesling, their muscular Bordeaux-inspired Pursuit and above all their ability to deliver such great wine for such an affordable price. Spierhead is becoming one of the wineries that showing up at a party with one of their bottles has become a signifier of impeccable taste. In an amazingly short time it’s become a winery where I’m anxious to taste everything they make.
Spierhead Pinot Noir 2011