Winemaker Info: Betsy Spann fell in love with wine when she moved to Bordeaux with her family in 1975. After returning to California, she owned a wine shop in El Dorado County, then became an independent wine broker, then helped found Lake Sonoma Winery in Dry Creek Valley. After further travels in the U.S., she met and married Peter Spann, and they moved back to Sonoma County.
Peter Spann fell in love with wine while working in a French restaurant in New Orleans, preferring Bordeaux and Rhone wines. His career continued with stints in wine retail, wholesale distribution, and ultimately his own wine marketing and sales company. In 2000, after he and Betsy married, they moved back to Sonoma County and bought the vineyard in Glen Ellen.
Spann Vineyards is located at 12900 Maple Glen Road, off of Trinity Road, in the hills above Glen Ellen. The tasting room is located in the Family Wineries Tasting Room, at 9380 Sonoma Highway, in Kenwood. (This is a multi-winery tasting room, which they share with Collier Falls Vineyards, David Noyes Wines, Macrae Family Winery, SL Cellars, and Tandem Wines.)
Spann Vineyards sources grapes from all over Sonoma County, Mendocino County, and Lodi, as well as using their own estates fruit. They concentrate on Bordeaux and Rhone varietals, but also produce several interesting blends: Chardonnay/Viognier, Mourvedre/Zinfandel, and a Sangiovese based Super-Tuscan.
Spann Vineyards uses Mourvedre in several of their red blends, but found the 2007 fruit so exceptional that they decided to make this special varietal bottling. The blend is 77% Mourvedre from the Silvaspoon Vineyard in Lodi, and 23% Syrah from the Durell Vineyard in the Sonoma Valley. The wine was 100% fermented in stainless steel tanks, with full malolactic fermentation, and aged for 14 months in 4-year old 59 gallon French oak barrels. The alcohol is 14.2%, and only 210 cases were produced.
"Our Mourvèdre has a bright raspberry aroma and taste with medium body, similar to the weight and early drinkability of a pinot noir, making this a great summer red for backyard barbeques.
This Rhone-inspired wine was made to be immediately enjoyable but will also improve and gain complexity in the bottle for 2 to 4 years after the vintage date. Part of the reason Mourvèdre is used in Chateauneuf-du-Pape blends is for its anti-oxidant properties that give long life to these wines. As this ages more of the leathery/raspberry notes from the Mourvèdre will appear. It has a food-friendly, graceful balance between fruit and oak and matches well with salmon, pork and chicken."
Bruce's Personal Tasting Notes:
Color: Deep ruby red, with a hint of purplish hue.
Clarity: Clear but dense color.
Nose: Clean red cherry aromas, hints of raspberry, none of the bramble or tobacco notes that you sometimes get in mourvedre.
Palate: As the nose, clean red cherry and raspberry.
Medium body, with crisp acidity to balance the tannins. None of the black pepper you might expect from the 23% Syrah.
Finish: Long, soft flavor of leather, hint of smoke.