Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2003 Cabernet Franc  (Okanagan Valley)

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards

2003 Cabernet Franc
(Okanagan Valley)

Tinhorn Creek planted its Diamondback Vineyard on Black Sage Road in between 1994 and 1997. In choosing Bordeaux varieties, the winery picked Merlot and Cabernet Franc, shying away from Cabernet Sauvignon, thought to be too late a ripener. It turns out that Cabernet Franc tends to hibernate during the intense heat of the south Okanagan, ripening just as late as Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes for this wine in the famously hot 2003 vintage were picked between October 4 and October 22 and the average ripeness was 25 Brix, enough for a bold 14.5% alcohol.

Tinhorn Creek has made Cabernet Franc one of its most reliable red varietals, although in 2005, it converted two of its 20 acres of this variety to Cabernet Sauvignon. The winemaking is straight forward: The crushed grapes, after three days of cold soak, are fermented to dryness, settled for a month or two and then aged for 11 months in two- to four-year-old French and American oak barrels. Upon its release at the end of September, 2006, this wine had the benefit of 15 months in bottles with screw cap closures.

This Cab Franc, of which 3,974 cases have been released, has aromas of black cherries and flavours of currants and cherries. The chewy ripe tannins give a firm texture and the structure to cellar well for several more years. 85 points.

Reviewed October 20, 2006 by John Schreiner.

The Wine

Winery: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
Vintage: 2003
Wine: Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Okanagan Valley
Grape: Cabernet Franc
Price: 750ml $15.95

Review Date: 10/20/2006

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.