Joseph Jewell — the middle names of Micah Wirth and Adrian Manspeaker, respectively — produce a range of pinot noir, zinfandel, and chardonnay wines, sourcing from all around Sonoma and, interestingly, Humboldt County (which is far better known for another cash crop than grapevines).
Today we look at a sextet of red releases from the duo — though all are quite well-aged, they are all surprisingly current releases.
2013 Joseph Jewell Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Hallberg Vineyard – This pinot is showing some age, but is still drinking well, with a core of well-extracted cherry that is backed up with notes of cola, tea leaf, and some baking spices. The finish shows a touch of balsamic and ample, lingering acidity. B+ / $55
2014 Joseph Jewell Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Bucher Vineyard – Firing on all cylinders, this cherry-core pinot offers stronger tea leaf notes than the Hallberg bottling, with lingering, savory notes of thyme and bay leaf. The finish echoes intriguing notes of pencil lead. Good stuff. A- / $50
2013 Joseph Jewell Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Floodgate Vineyard – There’s quite a bit of oxidation starting to show on this wine, which filters cherry through ample balsamic along with some odd, gummy banana notes and a bittersweet finish., with lingering balsamic notes. B+ / $50
2014 Joseph Jewell Pinot Noir Humboldt County – A bit on the flabby side, with ample oxidation/balsamic notes showing throughout. Heavy current and sour cherry notes dominate, with a kick of licorice on the back. Somewhat lackluster. B- / $32
2014 Joseph Jewell Pinot Noir Humboldt County Alderpoint Vineyard – Interesting licorice and black pepper notes kick this off, leading to a smattering of balsamic vinegar, tar, and tobacco — but it’s all filtered through notes of fresh strawberry and cherry, albeit somewhat watery in body. The finish hints at mint. B / $35
2013 Joseph Jewell Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Grist Vineyard – A solid little zin, bursting with fruit but not blown out, heavy with cherry and cola notes, some chocolate, and a healthy dose of fresh herbs. The finish is a bit on the sour side — again, the wine is showing some age — but still charming. B / $39
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