May 17, 2012

SOWF #10: Tinhorn Creek

Day two started off with a couple of false starts. From Penticton we headed south to do the Oliver / South Okanagan area. Our first stop was Hidden Chapel, but we were a little eager and got there before they opened. So then we drove up to Fairview, which was closed as well. Not wanting to waste any more precious tasting time, we headed over to the closest winery, which was Tinhorn Creek. We hadn't planned to stop there, and usually we give this winery a pass since it's definitely one of the big players and you can find their wines almost anywhere.

There is so much going on at Tinhorn I don't want to even get into it here. Apparently the restaurant Miradoro is very good if $17 for a grilled cheese sandwich doesn't bother you. Usually this place is busy, but at 11 o'clock on a Friday morning we had the tasting room to ourselves. Although Tinhorn is usually pretty reliable, I didn't find any wines that really impressed me.

  • Pinot Gris 2011 ($18)
We are striving to make a fruity dry wine with aromas of citrus, crisp acidity with a good amount of body for added mouth feel. 100% of this wine is fermented in Stainless Steel with 30% fermented in Stainless steel barrels and undergoing Malolactic fermentation giving the wine some added texture (mouth feel).

89 points.

  • Chardonnay 2010 ($18)

23% of this vintage was placed in new French barrels for 2 months and was stirred twice a week. This allows the wine to have contact with the lees and develop a silky mouth feel. The remainder of the Chardonnay was aged in stainless steel tanks to develop fruit characteristics.

89 points. Decent, mellow.

  • Gewurztraminer 2011 ($18)
Our aim is to show case the varietal characteristics of the Gewurztraminer grape. This includes floral and Lychee aromas with hints of spice. No oak aging or Malolactic fermentation. 100% of this wine is cold fermented in Stainless Steel tanks. This wine is made in a drier fruity style.

88 points. I found this tasted soapy.

  • Pinot Noir 2008 ($20)
The grapes were harvested in the early morning cool temperatures. This helps keep the fruit characteristics of the grape at their peak. The grapes then sat on their skins for several days in stainless steel tanks. The wine spent 10 months in older American oak and then two years in bottle before release on Canada Day!
87 points. Dry, thin, just sort of flavourless.

  • Cabernet Franc 2009 ($20)
Our Cabernet Franc comes 100% from our Diamondback Vineyard on the Black Sage Bench. The 2009 Cabernet Franc was brought in at cooler temperatures and after sitting on its skins for several days, yeast was added to start fermentation. After fermenting, the Cabernet Franc spent 12 months in American oak barrels prior to bottling in May 2011.

The 2009 Cabernet Franc is a vibrant dark cherry colour and is elegant and aromatic. There are aromas of blackcurrant and stewed cherries with forest floor characteristics. The palate is elegant and soft with luscious blackberries and black cherry flavours with muted expressions of pine and moss. A finely balanced wine with soft tannins and a lingering finish.

87 points. Cough syrup, fruity.

  • Oldfield 2Bench White 2010 ($23)
The 2Bench is a complex blend of 17% Semillon,  44% Chardonnay, 26% Sauvignon Blanc, 12% Viognier and 1% Muscat. The crisp acidity of this wine compliments rich seafood dishes. The white peach, citrus, melon and mineral flavours beg to be enjoyed on a sun drenched patio.

87 points. Kris liked this one much more than I did.

  • Oldfield 2Bench Rosé 2011 ($23)
This wine is made from 100% Cabernet Franc. It will be a dry wine with light salmon pink in colour and have strawberry aromas and flavours with a hint of black pepper. The grapes are pressed off their skins allowing for the right amount of colour to be released. Cold fermented in Stainless Steel tanks without ML ensures the fruity aromas and flavours are preserved. This wine is made in a style that can be enjoyed on its own or good with light summer foods. 

88 points.

  • Oldfield 2Bench Red 2008 ($35)
The 2008 Oldfield Series 2Bench Red is the second vintage of this wine to be released. It is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Franc. The varietals for this wine are kept separate throughout harvest and fermentation. It spends approximately 18 months in new French oak barrels before being bottled and then aged for an additional 18 months in bottle before release.

The 2008 Oldfield Series 2Bench Red is densely extracted and ruby in colour. It is powerfully concentrated with black cherries, blackberries, black currant and notes of leafy tobacco, and menthol aromas. This wine has flavours of racy black fruit and delicate herbs. Firm tannins and refreshing acidity ensure that this wine will stand the test of time.

87 points. Lots of tannins, a little musty tasting.

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