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Established by the Shaunessy and Oldfield families on the South Okanagan’s legendary Golden Mile Bench in 1993, Tinhorn Creek is a very special winegrowing project, comprising 150 acres of spectacular vineyards in two distinct areas, one on either side of the valley. The two vineyards have significantly different soils, exposures, and microclimates. This is a big advantage, providing the opportunity to cultivate a wide range of grape varieties in optimum conditions. From the beginning, the...
Beautiful garnet red colour. Nose is very expressive with fig, pomegranate, coffee and chocolate hazelnuts. Lots of black cherry and strawberry jam on the second sniff. In the mouth the wine is very broad and fruit driven with plum, black cherry, white pepper and dark chocolate. There is a seductive sweetness here from the rich ripe fruit, and plenty of power, with warming alcohol carrying the finish. Full bodied but supple and very drinkable.
Hot and dry summer, typical of the South Okanagan, but with a cool October allowing Tinhorn to pick 7 different blocks of Merlot over an 18 day period, selecting fruit at perfect ripeness. All of the fruit comes from top side of the Diamondback vineyard on the Black Sage Bench, in free draining sandy soils that gives the Merlot plenty of power, structure and intensity, but still a suppleness that makes the wines very drinkable upon release.
The fruit from this wine comes from the highest elevation site on the Black Sage vineyard where the berries tend to be smaller and lower yields are natural. The grapes are then destemmed and partially crushed, leaving some whole berries and pumped to stainless steel tanks for fermentation. For some blocks Tinhorn uses special cold tolerant yeast strains and ferment the wines quite cool (~10-11C), while others we allow to ferment naturally with no added yeast. These fermentations typically are warmer and are much less vigorous, leading to a long, slow (6-8 weeks long) gentle extraction of colour, tannin and flavour. The wines are then pressed and racked to French oak barrels, for malo-lactic fermentation and aging. Maturation for the reserve wines is 18 months in barrel, before being racked to tank, blended and finally bottled.
- 93 Points -
Pastiche, luxurious, succulent.
Formerly the Oldfield Series the new nomenclature of this range is Oldfield Reserve, the label colour has also morphed to a warm taupe-brown (no image available). Along with the Merlot as its key component, there is 15% Cabernet Franc.
This vintage of the reserve Merlot is a pastiche of plums muddled with black cherry, star anise and mocha, dried roses and botanical, cedar chips and leather. Generous, luxurious and chocolaty, it is mouthfilling and succulent. Great balance and equally chic.
Pair: beef, lamb, hearty pastas, stews.
- 92 Points -
The grapes for this wine are from a special 18-year-old block of vines at a high elevation in the winery’s Diamondback vineyard on Black Sage Road. Here, the grapes are smaller and the yields are lower. There is 15% Cabernet Franc in the blend. The result is a dark and concentrated wine that was aged 18 months in French oak barrels. The wine begins with aromas of cassis, black cherry and fig. That is echoed on the palate, along with notes of vanilla and dark chocolate. The firm structure will support aging.See detailed press review
- Silver Medal -
April 2018See detailed press review