Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Leftovers Anyone?

A side benefit from hosting the Dinner Club last night is the leftovers. We may not have finished cleaning and putting away all the dishes, glasses and pots yet, but we do get leftover turkey confit in a stir-fry and, to top it off, we get the bottle of Tinhorn Creek that barely got tried last night.

1009. 2008 Tinhorn Creek Pinot Noir (VQA Okanagan Valley)

Surprisingly, we didn't really need the extra bottle last night but we opened it because Jeaux wanted to give it whirl since she and Matinder brought it along and she'd never tried a Tinhorn Pinot before. That meant it was already opened, it only made sense, therefore, that Boo and I work on the bottle a little further tonight.

With Tinhorn Creek being located in the Southern Okanagan and having vineyards on the Golden Mile and Black Sage Road (home turf for many of BC's big reds), I don't generally think of Tinhorn immediately for their Pinot Noir. Sandra Oldfield and company do produce two Pinot Noirs though - a more general release under the Varietal Series (like this wine) and a reserve under the Oldfield Series label.

The release of this 2008 vintage was delayed when the Tinhorn folks discovered, during library tastings, that their Pinots "showed a much greater character after an additional year of aging." Rather than release the wine on a regular schedule, the winery actually went a year without having Pinot Noir available for sale because they wanted to age the Varietal Series wine for two years in the bottle before making it available to the masses (the Oldfield Series get three years in the bottle prior to release).

Personally, I think I like the bigger fruit of Tinhorn's other reds. But, if you consider the fact that this bottle sells for $20 - when some of the top BC Pinot Noir's are now hitting $50 and $60 and many others are north of $30 - it's not a poorly priced wine. It definitely showed some Pinot-esque earthiness to it but it also featured a high acidity that definitely rendered it more enjoyable while we were putting away the turkey than while it was being sipped on its own.

It might have seemed similar to the Californian Pinot we tried last night, but I don't know if it would have held up as much with the two Kettle Valley wines.

I'll still love Sandra and Tinhorn though. This bottle may not be my favourite but I'd still give the Oldfield Series bottle a try when it's released.

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