Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another Small Lots Wine for the Record

I see that we had a Sandhill Small Lots just the other night and I said that I was surprised that it was only the eighth bottle of Sandhill that's been added to The List. Since Boo wants to drink up some of the wine we have in our "cellar" (of boxes in the second bathroom), there's likely going to be more of Howard Soon's wines filling our glasses shortly. Indeed, I figured we might as well start tonight.

722. 2003 Sandhill Small Lots Burrowing Owl Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah (VQA Okanagan Valley)

With a 54/46 split between the Cab and the Syrah respectively, it's a pretty even blend of the two varietals. Although these two grapes are often blended in Australia, it's not a blend that we see a lot in BC - likely because there isn't an endless supply of ripe Cab Sauv around on an annual basis. The Cab that does ripen is generally made into varietal wine or used in Bordeaux or Meritage blends. It would likely take a smaller or even experimental program for a winery to go this route - hence, only 287 cases of this vintage was made.

Relatively rare - and despite the fact that I adore Howard Soon and the winery - this wasn't my favourite Sandhill wine. The winery touted that "the Syrah from the Burrowing Owl Vineyard is big and tannic. Blending it with the Cabernet Sauvignon lightens it up and gives it finesse and heightened aromatics." Maybe we should have opened it awhile back but I don't think it quite lived up to the hopes and expectations. Not that it was unpleasant. It just didn't have any notes or aspects that jumped out for me.

If it's true that we should have opened it earlier, I guess that just plays into Boo's mantra that we don't need to buy any more wine until we've finished off most of what we already have. What a sad thought. The good thing is that we would have to drink our way through a fair bit more Sandhill.

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