Sunday, May 1, 2011

Double Vintage, Double Overtime, Double Heartache

Playoff hockey. Saturday night. It seemed only natural to invite a couple of the boys over for a BBQ and the game. Little did we know that it would be such a night.

With a one game lead in the series following Thursday night's win, everyone knew that it was likely going to be a tight series. But, the mood was upbeat. The Canucks were definitely going to have to figure out a way to get the puck behind Pekke Rinne on a regular basis, but this tight? Really?!

Of course, we had no idea what kind of an evening - or game - it was going to be when we got started on our second Sandhill wine for the series. Seeing as how we were four for dinner, I knew one bottle wasn't going to cut it. I, therefore, thought I could make it all happen by digging out two vintages of Sandhill Two. Little did I know.

789. 2000 Sandhill - Burrowing Owl Vineyard Two (VQA Okanagan Valley)

790. 2004 Sandhill - Sandhill Estate Vineyard Two (VQA Okanagan Valley)

Like the Small Lots One Boo and I had during Game 1, Two is a Bordeaux or Meritage style blend - but, whereas One was Cab Sauv dominant with a bit of Petit Verdot and Malbec thrown in for good measure - Two is perhaps a little more representative of a standard approach to a BC Meritage. The percentages change from vintage to vintage but the blend is traditionally Cab Sauv, Merlot and Cab Franc.

Indeed, there wasn't much difference in the mix between these two vintages. The 2000 was 65/27/8 and the 2004 was 67/25/8. There was a fairly marked difference between the two bottles but that difference would have been based on the additional four years aging that the 2000 saw - not a difference of 2% in the varietals. The 2004 had bigger fruit and was a bit bolder in mouthfeel - not to say that the 2000 didn't make up for the more subdued palate by being a bit smoother in its integration.

I think true of most palates, Mr. D., Mexican Lou and I preferred the newer, fruitier wine a bit, while Boo went for the more subdued integration of the 2000. Boo was pretty definitive in his preference for the other night's One over these wines as well. He's somewhat predictable in his leaning towards Cab, Cab and more Cab.

Another difference between the One and Two's is that the fruit was sourced from different vineyards. All of Howard Soon, Sandhill's winemaker's, wines are from single vineyards. He introduced the single vineyard concept of stressing the terroir of the Okanagan's vineyards to BC winemaking. Fruit for One is sourced from the Phantom Creek vineyard, while the grapes for Two are grown on Sandhill's estate vineyards. Even though the two vineyards are located within miles of each other, Soon feels that the integrity of the terroir needs to be respected and separate wines blended. It would be truly interesting to taste side by side glasses of the Cab Sauv grown from the two different vineyards to see if there is much of discernible difference to the more unsophisticated palates sported by this pilgrim and the general wine buying public.

Regardless of blending or terroir, we'd finished off both bottles by the time the Predators scored to tie the game at one goal apiece - with about a minute to go in regulation time - and force overtime. I don't know why the Canucks seem determined to make things difficult for themselves in these playoffs. This is the second time that they've had to go to OT because their opponents scored with next to no time left to go.

That's up to the team to work on though. In the meantime, we needed to work on another wine for the OT.

791. 2007 Sandhill Sauvignon Blanc (VQA Okanagan Valley)

The shot of the boys holding their Sauv Blanc was obviously before nashville scored their winning goal in the second period of overtime.

Bugger. Oh, that's directed toward the game's result, not the wine. Although the Sauv Blanc is part of the Sandhill regular label series, you can always expect - and we got - a wine that is a true varietal expression. We don't tend to drink a bunch of BC Sauv Blanc, but this is the kind that we do like - more subdued in its profile than the over-the-top grassiness of many New Zealand Sauv Blancs. It's a ways away from a Sancerre, but it was going down easily all the same.

At least much easier than the play of the game.

This could be a long series! I don't know if I can take another 7-gamer. Guess we'll have to see what happens in the next two games in Nashville. You know we'll have some Sandhill waiting.

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