Monday, June 3, 2013

Tinhorn Creek's spring 2013 wine releases


Photo: Tinhorn Creek's Sandra Oldfield
During the past month, Tinhorn Creek Estate Winery has been releasing winemaker Sandra Oldfield’s new wines from 2012. 

At least three things are notable about these wines. 

First, they are all from a strong vintage in which the grapes ripened evenly to develop good flavours with good, but not ripping, acidity.

Secondly, Tinhorn Creek still manages to keep its wines affordable. Yes, you can buy cheaper wines, as is obvious now that Everything Wine (and other private wine stores) have begun running full-page advertisements for their imports.

My advice to those who think B.C. wines are too expensive is to do a blind tasting with similarly priced imports. You will find that the quality of the B.C. wine is competitive and often better. Just don’t expect the B.C. wineries to make $9 wines that go head to head with $9 imports. B.C. does not have the vast vineyards and low-priced land that Argentina and Australia have. 

Thirdly, Tinhorn Creek’s quality is consistent across the range. Note that my scores all are 90 or better. Tinhorn Creek’s viticulture has undergone a significant upgrading during the past five years and that has now shown up in the bottle. 

Here are my notes. 

Tinhorn Creek Chardonnay 2012 ($18.99 for 1,457 cases). This will be released July 1. The wine begins with refreshing aromas of citrus and green apples, leading onto flavours of apples and honeydew melons. The barrel fermenting has contributed to a generous texture. This has all the fruit-forward pluses of unoaked Chardonnay with the added complexity of very subtle and ever so lightly applied oak. The finish lingers. 90. 

Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gris 2012 ($18.99 4,490 cases).  The wine begins with aromas of banana, pear and apple. On the palate, this juicy wine has flavours of pear, apples and peach, with lingering notes of lime and green apples on the finish. This is a very refreshing Pinot Gris. 90. 

Tinhorn Creek Gewürztraminer 2012 ($18.49 for 4,825 cases).  The wine begins with aromas of rose petals, spice and lychee, leading to rich and spicy flavours of grapefruit and grapefruit rind. The wine has a generous texture on the mid palate, with a lingering dry finish. 90.

Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series 2Bench White 2012 ($22.99 for 1,165 cases). This is a blend of 53% Chardonnay, 21% Sauvignon Blanc, 17% Vermillion, 6% Viognier and 3% Muscat. The result is intriguing – a wine that begins with appealing  and subtle aroma of citrus and spice, continuing to flavours of apple, pears and melon. The wine has a rich weight on the palate, along with a dry finish. 91.

 Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series 2Bench  Rosé 2012 ($22.99 for 786 cases). This is 51% Cabernet Franc, 49% Syrah, pressed off the skins after four hours. The wine has an attractive bronze/pink hue. It has aromas of strawberry and flavours of strawberry and cranberry with a squeeze of grapefruit and with good weight. The finish is balanced to finish dry. 90.

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