Is there a wine enthusiast who doesn’t love to discover something new– a new wine, a new varietal, or a new region? The answer is no, as a wine enthusiast there is nothing more thrilling than trying a new and delicious wine. As a wine enthusiast myself I am extremely wine curious. If the wine is an outstanding value, that’s a huge bonus. This brings me to Joseph Jewell Wines and Humboldt County, California pinot noir.
Discover Humboldt County Wines
Humboldt County is approximately five hours north of San Francisco and best known for majestic coastal redwood trees (some of the oldest trees in the world), and fog. Why is this important? Because the pinot noir variety loves fog and cooler temperatures. Generally speaking, where there are redwood trees and fog, it is possible to grow excellent quality pinot noir. The temperature and terroir are influenced by Humboldt Bay and the Eel River. The cooler climate allows for a later harvest resulting in fruit with better acidity, lower alcohol, lighter body, and a more spicy earthy flavor profile.
Who is Joseph Jewell Wines?
Humboldt County native Adrian Manspeaker, owner, and winemaker at Joseph Jewell Wines was inspired by the elegant pinot noirs being produced by Gary Farrell Wines in Sonoma County. At that time, 2006, Adrian began experimenting with winemaking in his garage. He then studied at UC Davis, a world-renowned school for the study of viticulture. Determined to produce pinot noir that truly expressed the delicate sophistication of the variety, Adrian returned to his roots in Humboldt County to source fruit. In 2007, he founded Joseph Jewell Wines.
Today, Joseph Jewell Wines produces small lots of pinot noir from five vineyards (1/2 to 5 acre plots) in Humboldt County. I tried three pinot noirs from the 2018 vintage. I liked all of these wines though I do, of course, have a favorite. Each is a delicious, food-friendly wine and equally good drink on its own. These wines ticked all the key boxes for me; they were aromatic, balanced, had good acidity, a complex flavor profile, and a long finish with a juicy mouthfeel. Can you guess which one was my favorite? Try them and let me know which is yours!
2018 Eel River Valley Pinot Noir
The Eel River Valley pinot noir is a blend of fruit from several vineyards but the Ryan vineyard is the backbone of this wine.
Tasting notes: blackberries, blueberries, red current, rainier cherry, dried orange peel, and earth notes. Wine Enthusiast rated this wine 93 points.
2018 Alderpoint Vineyard Pinot Noir
The Alderpoint vineyard is 2.5 acres and was planted in 1992. The first vintage for Joseph Jewell wine from this vineyard was 2013. This is a single vineyard wine and only 100 cases were made from the 2018 vintage.
Tasting notes: hints of thyme, pennyroyal, wild black cherry, fresh raspberry, dusty red soil, warm mulling spices. Very soft tannins. Wine Enthusiast rating – 94 points.
2018 Ryan Vineyard Pinot Noir
The Ryan vineyard was planted in 2008 with pinot noir clones 115 and 667.
Tasting notes: wild black cherry, dried mission fig, green cardamon, tarragon, violets, fennel flower, aged cigar box with soft tannins. Wine Enthusiast – 96 points.
I should also add that the tasting room is in Forestville in West Sonoma County. But, you don’t have to travel to Sonoma, you can enjoy a virtual tasting of Joseph Jewell wines, and frankly, I highly recommend you do so. At roughly 35-40 dollars per bottle, these wines are an amazing value!
Find And Purchase Unique Wines With The Grand Reserve World Mastercard
I was introduced to Joseph Jewell Wines by Grand Reserve World Mastercard, a credit card that caters to wine lovers. A lifestyle focused credit card, it supports the industry by providing direct access to partner wineries and co-hosting events, like the Joseph Jewell tasting. Each event is customized; the Joseph Jewell event was attended by Adrian and hosted by Chappy, a Sommelier and Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40. Attendees had the opportunity to ask specific questions, a key feature. I also enjoyed being guided through the tasting experience.
Your purchase earns you 5x points towards the rewards program. With over 400 partner wine producers – you really can’t miss. And, Grand Reserve World Mastercard has partnered with Proof Loyalty to offer customers the chance to purchase hard to find wines with their loyalty reward points.
In addition, you’ll receive 3x points on purchases from ANY other winery, wine club, or wine merchant, as well as any restaurant (including take-out and deliveries) or bar, and 2x points on all other purchases. Pretty cool!
Let’s face it, most of us are shopping online today and are familiar with the concept of credit cards that reward you for shopping with them. Why not get points and rewards for your wine purchases, including stemware, decanters, private tasting events, and more.
The Grand Reserve World Mastercard comes with a $149 annual fee, waived in the first year. For wine enthusiasts and oenophiles who love exploring unique wines, library wines and hard to find vintages, this card just may be the thing for you.
I participated in a virtual tasting on behalf of Grand Reserve World Mastercard. All opinions are my own.