Sandhill2004 Merlot, Estate
The Okanagan’s 2004 vintage was one that sent a winemaker’s heart into his mouth. The early spring and fine warm summer were pointing to an excellent vintage until late August, when the Okanagan received three unseasonable weeks of cool, rainy weather. What pulled the vintage from the fire was a return to fine warm weather in mid-September, with good conditions lasting through to the end of what turned out to be a good vintage after all.
This single-vineyard wine – Sandhill makes only single vineyard wines – is rich and deep in colour, with aromas of vanilla, chocolate, blackberries, plums and mint. The long ripe tannins contribute to a full-bodied and generous texture. The wine shows a complex array of flavours, including spiced plums, black currants, a touch of blueberry and hints of minerals. This is a bold and satisfying Merlot; 6,500 cases were made. 88 points.
Reviewed July 27, 2006 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.