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Spann Vineyards Wines: New Releases from Sonoma County
Posted on August 22, 2019 by Mike Potashnik, Co-Publisher International Wine Review
These new releases from Peter and Betsy Spann are wonderful examples of the authentic and artisanal wines being crafted in Sonoma Valley today. They are ripe and juicy wines, mainly red Bordeaux blends and single varietal reds. They include a delicious Primitivo and Zinfandel that do especially well in the sunny and warm climate of Sonoma Valley.
There is one white wine called Yin-Yang among the new releases; Yin-Yang is a lovely blend of Chardonnay and Viognier that offers the best of both varieties. Spann Vineyards wines are made in small quantities with passion and good craftsmanship.
Yin-Yang California 2017 ($25) 91
The 2017 Yin-Yang is a refreshing blend of 55% Chardonnay and 45% Viognier. It is crisp and citrusy on the palate showing white stone fruit with a touch of mandarin. There’s good acidity, excellent concentration and mouth filling richness. Chardonnay and Viognier are made for each other.
Cabernet Sauvignon Mayacamas Range Sonoma Valley 2015 ($45) 90
This light bodied Cabernet Sauvignon offers red and black fruit with high acidity, firm tannins, and a good deal of cedar on the nose. It has a lovely suave mouth feel with excellent freshness. Sourced from The Spann’s estate vineyard 1700 feet high in the Mayacamas Mountains and from neighboring vineyards. Blended with 15% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot, and a small amount of Petite Verdot.
OMG Sonoma County 2014 ($39) 89
The OMG is a 50-50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. It is soft and round in the mouth with dark red berry fruit flavors and good concentration, albeit a touch jammy.
Primitivo Sonoma County 2015 ($30) 91
Dark ruby. A pleasant tasting wine offering ripe, fresh plum and strawberry flavors with soft round tannins, good acidity and a persistent finish. A blend of 90% Primitivo and 10% Syrah. Enjoy it now.
The Classic Four Sonoma Valley 2014 ($35) 93
The 2014 Classic Four is a delicious, mouth filling wine with rich earthy, red and black fruit flavors and minerals. It has a lovely texture and persistent finish. A blend of 50% Malbec, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc and 8% Merlot.
Zinfandel Sonoma Valley 2016 ($30) 92
The 2016 Zinfandel is high toned and appears somewhat richer and more complex than the 2013 vintage we last tasted. A blend of 75% Zinfandel and 25% Mourvedre, it offers spicy black cherry flavors with a hint of earthiness, a silky texture, soft and round tannins and a lovely finish.
International Wine Review - March 2018
Sonoma’s Spann Vineyards:
New Releases from the 2013-14 Vintages
Spann Vineyards is a small artisanal winery owned and operated by Peter and Betsy Spann. Their vineyards are located in the Mayacamas Mountains on a steeply terraced mountainside in Glen Ellen. They dry farm their vineyards and strive for low yields, in some cases as little as one ton per acre. They also purchase fruit from growers in Sonoma and elsewhere. Their wines are crafted in very small quantities, usually no more than a few hundred cases.
These new releases are among the best wines the Spanns have crafted since we began reviewing them over seven years ago. In our tastings we found most of the wines had nicely ripened fruit with fresh aromas and flavors. The winemaking revealed a light touch for the most part with most wines revealing good acidity and balance, well integrated oak, well honed tannins and silky textures. The blending of the wines was also superbly accomplished.
Wine Reviews and Ratings:
Spann Vineyards 2016 Yin-Yang North Coast ($22) 89+Yin-Yang is a tasty blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Viognier. It displays tropical fruit and floral aromas with a hint of white peach. It has good flavor concentration on the palate with excellent acidity and freshness and a good finish.
Spann Vineyards 2014 Primitivo Sonoma Valley ($30) 89 A nicely crafted Primitivo with a red fruit orientation, nice balance and refinement on the palate, good acidity and pleasant drinking
Spann Vineyards 2013 Zinfandel Sonoma Valley ($30) 90 The 2013 Zinfandel displays a red fruited nose with good purity on the attack. On the palate it offers refined red cherry and berry flavors with a hint of cola berry sweetness. It is medium weight with good concentration and a lingering finish.
Spann Vineyards 2014 Malbec Sonoma ($40) 90+ This Malbec, which is blended with 20% Merlot, displays fresh and vibrant candied dark red fruit. It has a silky texture, accessible tannins, good acidity and a persistent finish with lingering red fruit notes.
Spann Vineyards 2013 OMG Sonoma Valley ($37) 91 OMG is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot. It offers a nose of savory red currant fruit, herbs, and a hint of tobacco. It has a nice silky mouthfeel and overall refinement making it clearly among the very finest cuvees from Spann Vineyards.
Spann Vineyards 2013 The Classic Four California ($29) 91 The Classic Four grapes in this blend consist of five varieties: 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc 20% Merlot, 10% Malbec and 9% Petit Verdot. It is a big wine with fresh fruit and concentrated flavors, beautifully integrated with toasted oak and spice. However, the tannins are firm and somewhat dry and the finish is of medium length.
Spann Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Cross Creek Vineyard Sonoma Valley ($65) 88 The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Cross Creek Vineyard is medium-bodied and offers light aromas and flavors of black currant and cassis fruit with spice notes. On the palate it reveals high acidity, firm tannins and a somewhat short finish. This high altitude vineyard at the top of the Mayacamas Mountains appears to present challenges for ripening Cabernet Sauvignon.
Spann Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Mayacamas Range Sonoma County ($40) 92 The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Mayacamas Range is a lovely, medium-bodied wine offering pure and richly flavored black currant and cassis mountain fruit. Aged 27 months in French oak, it is nicely integrated and refined in character and has a long pleasant finish.
Spann Vineyards 2014 Petit Verdot Sonoma County ($42) 88 The Petit Verdot (blended with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon) displays a black currant and red scented nose with hints of blueberry and plum fruit. It has good flavor on the attack but reveals tart dry tannins on the mid-palate and the finish.
Spann Vineyards 2014 MoJo Sonoma County ($44) 91 MoJo is a dark fruited blend of 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Malbec, 23% Syrah and 10% Petit Verdot. Big and chewy on the attack, MoJo is mouth filling with concentrated peppery flavors, firm dry tannins and a lingering rich finish.
Spann Vineyards 2014 S & M Sonoma County ($34) 90 This is a lovely fruit forward blend of 65% Syrah and 35% Malbec. It offers delicious dark berry fruit with excellent acidity, firm round tannins and a big flavorful juicy finish.
Spann Vineyards 2014 The Powerlifter Sonoma Valley ($37) 91 A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Syrah, the Powerlifter offers concentrated dark fruited flavors with oriental spices. It is softly textured on the attack revealing good density and richness and an unctuous finish. This wine is named after co-owner Betsy Spann who holds two world records in powerlifting!