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Established by the Shaunessy and Oldfield families on the South Okanagan’s legendary Golden Mile Bench in 1993, Tinhorn Creek is a very special winegrowing project, comprising 150 acres of spectacular vineyards in two distinct areas, one on either side of the valley. The two vineyards have significantly different soils, exposures, and microclimates. This is a big advantage, providing the opportunity to cultivate a wide range of grape varieties in optimum conditions. From the beginning, the...
Nice ruby red colour and intense aromas of baking spices, plum jam, and dark chocolate. The nose gives of layers of black and red fruit, chocolate covered cherries and cola. The palate is full bodied with blackberries, blueberry jam, and vanilla. Plenty of power here, with great length and persistence in the palate.
Hot and dry summer, typical of the South Okanagan, but with a cool October allowing picking of the 7 different blocks of Merlot over an 18 day period, selecting fruit at perfect ripeness. All of the fruit comes from the Diamondback vineyard on the Black Sage Bench, in free draining sandy soils that give the Merlot plenty of power, structure and intensity, but still a suppleness that makes the wines very drinkable upon release. A very high quality vintage, there was no disease or pest pressure and moderate leaf thinning and green harvesting were done to ensure only the highest quality fruit made it into the winery.
Tinhorn Creek's Merlot on the Black Sage bench is machine harvested in the early hours of the morning to ensure it arrives at the winery nice and cold. The grapes are then destemmed and partially crushed, leaving some whole berries and pumped to stainless steel tanks for fermentation. For some blocks special cold tolerant yeast strains are used which ferment the wines quite cool (~10-11C), while others are allowed to ferment naturally with no added yeast. These fermentations typically are warmer and are much less vigorous, leading to a long, slow (6-8 weeks long) gentle extraction of colour, tannin and flavour. The wines are then pressed and racked to a mix of French, American and Hungarian oak barrels, for malolactic fermentation and aging. Maturation ranges from 14-18 months depending on how the wines are tasting, before being racked to tank, blended and naturally bottled.
- 92 Points -
- Editor's Choice -
This impressive, pure Merlot offers plenty of grip and concentration. Black-cherry fruit and dark chocolate, espresso and fine-grained tannins are all in play. The structure, length and polish make this a standout, especially at this price.See detailed press review
- 91 Points -
Outstanding, plumcake, mocha.
This Merlot was cellared for 14-18 months in a mix of French, American and Hungarian oak barrels, for malo-lactic fermentation and then aging before bottling.
I have to say this vintage stands out for me, the highest score I've given this wine. The season was hot and dry but with a nicely cooling October, for harvest.
The nose offers plumcake, patchouli, baking spices and vanilla with dried flowers. It is fleshy with generous and concentrated fruit; sweet spice, licorice, vanilla and mocha with a distinct sprinkle of fleur de sel.
See detailed press review
Pair:: Beef, lamb, hearty pastas, stews, gourmet thin-crust pizzas
- 90 Points -
The varietal has long been one of Tinhorn Creek’s most popular reds. This release reflects a fine ripe vintage that produced a concentrated, full-bodied Merlot with ripe, juicy flavours of spicy black currant and black cherry.See detailed press review