Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Taking it to Nashville

As much as I may feel and little bruised and battered by yesterday's federal election, I'm likely still in better condition than most of the Canucks. After seven rough games with the Blackhawks, the Predators aren't exactly playing cooperative by rolling over and letting our boys breeze through the new series.

Having split the first two games in Vancouver, the teams have moved on to Music City USA for Games 3 and 4 in Nashville. In the mean time, it was a no-brainer for tonight's game wine. Game 3, Sandhill Small Lots Three.

794. 2001 Sandhill Small Lots Three (VQA Okanagan Falls)

The wines for the first games, One and Two, were basically Bordeaux or Meritage blends. Three goes a different route - a bit of a take on a Super Tuscan. Winemaker, Howard Soon, has overseen the planting of two traditional Italian varietals at the Burrowing Owl/Sandhill Estate vineyard - Sangiovese and Barbera - and blended them at 50% and 30% respectively. He's then completed and filled out the wine with equal portions of Cab Sauv and Merlot. While the addition of the Cab and Merlot is quite indicative of the so-called Super Tuscans, the blending of Sangiovese and Barbera is highly uncharacteristic of Italian winemaking - as the former is the primary grape of Tuscany, while Barbera is mostly grown in Piedmont.

This 2001 vintage was the first release of Three and it is believed to be the first commercial release of a wine involving either Sangiovese or Barbera by a Canadian winery. In keeping with his approach of showcasing the specific vineyard (all Sandhill wines are single vineyard designated), Soon has also looked to innovative practices in BC to try and best express the characteristics of the fruit. Knowing he was the only winemaker using these Italian varietals, he introduced the utilization of a yeast strain that is particular to the Sangiovese grapes that are used for making Brunello - one of the big guns of Tuscany.

As part of the Small Lots Program, only 398 cases of the wine was made. So, we were lucky to still have a bottle laying around. I'm not sure that ten years of aging was suspected when we bought the bottle, but I'm glad to say the wine didn't seem to suffer.

I am glad, however, to be finally opening all these lovely old Sandhill wines. It might have taken the Canucks finally getting past Chicago in the playoffs, but matching Sandhill to a playoff series has been a goal of mine since this Odyssey has been around. Now, if only the team could figure out a way to get the puck past the Predator's goalie, Pekka Rinne.

The boys pulled out a second win in the series tonight - but it did take OT and a power play at that. I'm definitely finding that I'm needing these wines to calm my nerves during all these cliff-hanger games.

No comments:

Post a Comment