New Releases from Spann Vineyards of Sonoma

Peter and Betsy SpannPeter and Betsy Spann

Spann Vineyards is owned and operated by Peter and Betsy Spann. Their vineyards are located in the Mayacamas Mountains on a steeply terraced mountainside. 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 Sonoma and elsewhere.

Spann wines are handcrafted in very small quantities using both New and Old World winemaking techniques (foot crushing, blending, destemming). Innovative and experimental, they produce single varietal wines from grapes usually used for blending, such as Petit Verdot and Mourvèdre. They also produce interesting red blends using Carignan, Alicante Bouchet, and Sangiovese as well as more traditional Bordeaux blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

Stylistically, Spann wines are fruit forward and easy drinking. Made for short to medium term drinking, they are generally ripe, mouth filling and flavorful. They show restraint in the use of oak and are well balanced with adequate acidity. Several of the wines reviewed here are still rather young and tannic and in need of time for aging. Judging from past reviews, and our tasting of the 2006 MoJo in this review, the tannins should evolve nicely.

This is our third review of Spann Vineyards wines. We are happy to report that this winery is living up to our expectations and is today one of Sonoma’s more innovative artisanal producers of high quality food-friendly, California-style wines. Spann wines can be purchased at your local wine shop, and the Spann website provides a useful guide on where you can find them.

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