Sunday, October 13, 2013

Orofino's Sagebrush Merlot

1451.  2006 Orofino - Sagebrush Series Merlot (Similkameen Valley - BC)

Regular readers of this blog will know that I've added more than a couple Orofino wines to The List. John and Virginia have yet to hit their 10th vintage but I've been a fan pretty much since day one. I was lucky enough to try some of their first wines when they were part of a Similkameen tasting hosted by the BC Wine Appreciation Society back when the Okanagan's neighbouring valley was trying to raise its profile as a premium wine producing region.

The Sagebrush Series was a short-lived label for Orofino. I think it might have only been around for one vintage and I've only ever seen a Pinot Noir (added to The List at #1156) in addition to this Merlot.

I think the concept behind the second label was that the Webers were using Sagebrush as a vehicle to incorporate easier drinking wines made from non-estate grapes into their portfolio. Nowadays, Orofino openly uses non-estate grapes under the main Orofino label but those grapes are often vinified and sold as single vineyard wines - with those vineyards prominently incorporated into the labels.

I don't know the vineyard that these grapes were sourced from but the wine was a simpler sip than Orofino's Red Bridge Red Merlot - which is much bigger and more complex and is, incidentally, one of my BC faves. As such, I'm thinking that the Sagebrush was a decent accompaniment for a simple mid-week dinner of borscht, but I'm going to look more forward to my next bottle of Red Bridge Red.

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