Sandhill2005 one - Small Lots, Phantom Creek Vineyard
Sandhill winemaker Howard Soon began making this single vineyard Bordeaux red blend in 2000 with fruit from Richard Cleave’s meticulously-farmed Phantom Creek Vineyard. Cleave is the Okanagan’s most experienced vineyard manager, having worked for clients on Black Sage Road since 1975. Currently, vineyards under Sandhill’s control are his major clients. Phantom Creek, however, is his small family vineyard, planted primarily in Bordeaux reds.
Sandhill, entirely dedicated to making single vineyard wines, releases its premium wines under its Small Lots program, so-called because production is limited. At 532 cases, this vintage of one is one of the largest of the Small Lots releases. In the first release from the 2000 vintage, a mere 75 cases were made.
Soon’s blends have become more complex. The initial one was made with one-third each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot. In the current release, Cabernet Sauvignon has the spotlight since it ripened optimally in the superb 2005 vintage. The wine makes a great first impression with aromas of red berries and toasted oak. The flavours are bursting with sweet fruit, tasting of currants, mocha and red liquorice. The long, ripe tannins give the wine a rich texture with the promise that it is age-worthy. 91 points.
Reviewed February 22, 2008 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.