Monday, October 24, 2011

Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series

The first word that comes to mind when envisioning Tinhorn Creek remains "value" for me. No one else in the valley can top the consistent value-for-money-to-quality ratio executed by Tinhorn Creek with their impressive line-up of varietal wines priced at $20 and below. Yet, each Fall I am happily reminded with the release of the winery's Oldfield Series red wines that there is much more to the Golden Mile institution than simply well-made, well-priced crowd-pleasers. They also produce challenging, high-quality, refined wines which, ironically, do nothing to shake the winery's "value" association for me due to their relative affordability.

The Oldfield Series red wines are afforded plenty of time in barrel and an impressive 18 months in bottle prior to being released. Essentially, Tinhorn has done the aging work on your behalf leaving you free to open them upon release knowing that you won't cut short the potential for the wines growth if you hold on to it, just a little bit longer.

Stelvin cap enclosures are used for all Tinhorn Creek wines (with Icewine and Late Harvest wines being the only exceptions) to lock in the freshness and avoid any faults from extensive aging and tainted cork. To some, this may lessen the appeal of these high-end and cellar worthy wines as the screw top enclosures have yet to fully break-down the stigma attributed to cheap, bulk wines. A perception I hope changes soon as most wines, even those purchased to adorn home cellars, will be consumed in the 5 years anyway. The Oldfield Series wines will make you a believer.

2008 Oldfield Series Merlot - $25
Big tannins, due to a prolonged jam session in oak, blend nicely with juicy, ripe mixed berry flavours and sultry, savoury notes of spice and smoke.
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2008 Oldfield Series Syrah - $35
Bold yet refined, extra spicy Syrah with a medium-plus body - one that leans more Rhone Valley than Barossa Valley.
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2008 Oldfield Series 2Bench Red - $30
A blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc delivering a potpourri of savoury and fruit elements, wrapped-up in a mouth-watering, sweet spice and sandpaper sprinkled texture.
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Oldfield Series wines released earlier in the year:

2010 Oldfield Series 2Bench Rosé - $22 (sold out)
The 100% Cabernet Franc adds seductive crushed flower aromatics and complexity to the wine's classic rosé nose of Maraschino cherry, cranberry, grape skins and raspberry seeds. Certainly a contender for the top rosé in BC. Available via the winery's "Crush Club" and tasting room only.
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2010 Oldfield Series Kerner Icewine - $30 (200ml)
Nice acidity is present for 2010 adding essential tartness to counter-balance the full bodied, sweet palate oozing with concentrated fruit and a splash of savoury notes, adding complexity.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2011

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