2019 Pinot Noir "Microcosm"
Spear Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills
The Spear Vineyard is just down the road from us on Highway 246. This is my second single vineyard Pinot Noir from the property. Its origin is simple; 100% Dijon Clone 943 that comes out of tiny little block #1. Perched right up along High- way 246, it simply cannot go unnoticed by any winemaker whose heart is beating as they drive by. If you want to know why Pinot Noir is said to be a good conduit to the soil, just smell this stuff. Its dark, sour cherry/pomegranate fruit is enveloped in a very spicy Highway 246 garrigue-like robe of coriander, cinnamon and compost, instantly giving it an aromatic kinship with many a Pinot Noir that was grown within the corridor.
I have given it the Microcosm moniker because of the feeling I get from this vineyard, which was very unassumingly planted a few years ago by owner Ofer Shepher. Ofer has so beautifully woven his vines into the property, preserving all the mature forest that has always been there. No oak tree removal for this guy, only a solid deer fence to keep out the critters that he pretty much sees on a daily basis. Ofer has seamlessly created a domain that taps into everything that is beautiful about the Sta. Rita Hills. As I drive into work every day, I salute block #1 which, for me, represents a microcosm within the greater explosion of development that has taken place over the last 20 years in the Sta. Rita Hills.
I highly recommend a visit to his Spear Winery. The facility is stunning, the vibe is cool, and the tasty wines are made from 100% organically grown fruit. They are by appointment at this point, so you do need to call and let them know you are coming. I have heard feedback from some, that if you are getting your tour from Ofer, best to make sure you have adequate time, because this gracious man is going to share with you THE WHOLE PLACE. If all you have time for is a tasting of his excellent wines, that’s fine, just let him know up front.