Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2004 Oldfield's Collection Merlot  (Okanagan Valley)

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards

2004 Oldfield's Collection Merlot
(Okanagan Valley)

At Tinhorn Creek, the growing range of reserve wines are all tagged Oldfield’s Collection after the husband and wife team, Kenn and Sandra Oldfield, who run the winery. Both are graduates of UC Davis; Kenn specialized in viticulture and Sandra in winemaking.

Merlot is the winery’s flagship varietal. Sandra walks a fine balance to make a reserve Merlot without weakening the regular Merlot, a 10,000-case brand. The best lots in the winery are chosen for the reserve; but when the reserve is being blended, Sandra continually assesses the quality of the remaining wine. She does not hesitate to return some of the superior lots to the regular if required. “I could make this wine better,” she says of the reserve Merlot, even though it is a superb expression of Merlot from the Okanagan.

The three varietals in this blend are fermented separately and are then blended in tanks before going into barrels for about 16 months. The winery used 50 percent new French oak and 50 percent American oak. The final blend is assembled after the wine comes out of barrel. Once in bottle, it gets a full year of bottle maturity at the winery before release. The reserve Merlot – like all Tinhorn Creek wine - is bottled with screwcap closures.

This wine has a brooding intensity about it, reflecting its concentrated plum and vanilla flavours. There is a lovely core of sweet fruit, with a hint of spice and cassis. The firm texture suggests that the wine, while approachable now, has the potential to age well to its 10th birthday, if not beyond. 90 points.

Reviewed December 7, 2007 by John Schreiner.

The Wine

Winery: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Oldfield's Collection Merlot
Appellation: Okanagan Valley
Grapes: Merlot (88%), Cabernet Franc (10%), Syrah / Shiraz (2%)
Price: 750ml $28.00

Review Date: 12/7/2007

The Reviewer

John Schreiner

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.