CedarCreek's current releases include three Platinum wines
The CedarCreek Estate Winery in Kelowna slimmed its portfolio a few years ago and now offers just two ranges: the Estate range and, for its premium wines, the Platinum range.
The latest releases show consistent quality in both ranges. These wines were made by Tom DiBello, the winemaker who left CedarCreek almost a year ago and now is a busy consultant about to release wines on his own label.
One signature of his touch at CedarCreek was his use of premium French oak. No doubt, he cost the winery owners a modest fortune for barrels each vintage but the result was always worth it.
These releases represent Tom at his best.
CedarCreek fans can also relax. His successor as winemaker, Darryl Brooker, is Australian-trained and made excellent wines with several leading Ontario wineries before moving to the Okanagan in time to see Tom’s 2009 wines into bottle and to make the 2010 vintage.
Here are notes on the current releases.
CedarCreek Platinum Chardonnay 2008 ($29.90). The winery has released 766 cases of this strikingly elegant wine. The wine was totally barrel-fermented but only spent 10 months or so aging in barrel and on the lees. As a result, the oak is so well integrated as to provide grace notes that frame the aromas and flavours. The taste and smell is very much fruit-first: aromas and flavours of tangerine with a richness on the palate and with a finish that lingers. The wine seems polished to a creamy roundness while retaining vibrant acidity at the core. 92.
CedarCreek Platinum Pinot Noir 2007 ($39.90). The winery produced 677 cases of its top Pinot Noir. The wine incorporates four clones of Pinot Noir harvested from CedarCreek’s two Kelowna-area vineyards. The wine was aged 17 months in French oak before being bottled and then aged another 17 months before its release last September. The wine presents in the glass with the ruby hue of a gemstone, followed by toasty aromas of strawberry and cherry. On the palate, flavours of raspberry and cherry mingle subtly with oak. The texture is classically silky. On the finish, the wine is light but elegant. For those looking for power in Pinot Noir, this is not it. For those who admire delicacy and feminine charm in a Pinot Noir, this is definitely the wine. 90.
CedarCreek Platinum Meritage 2007 ($39.90). Dark, full and concentrated, this wine begins with aromas of flowers, chocolate and black cherry which carry through on the palate, mingled with fig, cedar and tobacco, with a kiss of spice on the finish. There is a remarkable polish and elegance to this wine. It is a blend of 44% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. The winery released 891 cases in November. 92.
CedarCreek Estate Chardonnay 2008 ($17.90). The winery released 4,633 cases of this well-made wine at a fighting varietal price and under screwcap. The wine has classic aromas and flavours of citrus fruits, with a subtle hint of butter and oak. This appeals to those who want a Chardonnay where the fruit is out in front but with a little more complexity than is typical in the unwooded versions of this wine. 88.
CedarCreek Estate Pinot Noir 2008 ($26.90). The winery has released 2,754 cases of this Pinot Noir. On the nose, there are aromas of toast from the barrels and black cherry from the fruit. On the palate, there are flavours of cherry and plum. The wine shows a generous structure. 88.
CedarCreek Estate Syrah 2008($24.90). The wine begins with aromas of black cherries, and white pepper. On the palate, there are flavours of cherries and pomegranates with a hint of pepper on the finish. 88.