Sandhill2004 Petit Verdot - Small Lots, Phantom Creek Vineyard
The knock on Petit Verdot, one of the lesser known of Bordeaux reds, is that it ripens dangerously late. But in his seven-acre Phantom Creek Vineyard, grower Richard Cleave succeeds in bringing this variety in year in and year out, thanks to very low crop levels and effective measures to combat late frosts. This vineyard is one of the Okanagan’s small number of plantings of Petit Verdot, and one of the few producing a varietal table wine.
Sandhill made only 124 cases of this wine in 2004, releasing them under the winery’s “Small Lots” program. Unfortunately for fans of Sandhill’s wines, the entire lot was purchased by the Earls Restaurant chain in Western Canada. Another trophy for the chain’s already excellent and popularly-priced wine list.
Dark red in hue, the wine begins with a dramatic aroma – smoky plums, berries, chocolates and oak. The flavours explode in the palate, with a spicy melange of fruit cake, chocolates and red currants. The texture is voluptuously sensual, with a hint of liquorice on the long finish. This is a very complex and cellar-worthy wine, not that the patrons of Earls will keep it around long enough to find out how great it will become. 92 points.
Reviewed February 6, 2007 by John Schreiner.
Other reviewed wines from Sandhill
John Schreiner has been covering the wines of British Columbia for the past 30 years and has written 10 books on the wines of Canada and BC. He has judged at major competitions and is currently a panel member for the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards of Excellence in Wine. Both as a judge and as a wine critic, he approaches each wine not to find fault, but to find excellence. That he now finds the latter more often than the former testifies to the dramatic improvement shown by BC winemaking in the past decade.