Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Oldfield Series 2Bench White and Rosé

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The charmingly named Tinhorn Creek Vineyards (the word comes from the Wild West era, and refers to a self-important, braggartly type, most often a gambler) reflects the will, dedication, talent, and yes, sense of humour of its founding winemaker, president and CEO Sandra Oldfield. The winery has been around a long time now, but they have never rested on their laurels, and continue to impress, vintage after vintage. A great example is the current version of the Oldfield Series 2Bench White ($20). The two vineyard benches in question are Diamondback vineyard on Black sage Bench, and Tinhorn Creek Vineyard on Golden Mile Bench. The blend is dominantly Sémillon, but chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, viognier, and some muscat also appear. It is explosively aromatic, floral, but also boasts nice structure and some deeper stone fruit notes before giving way to a crisp, lime-dominated finish. You could drink a case of this as you watch the Blue Jays hack away at the impediments between them and the pennant.

The 2014 Oldfield Series Rosé ($20) is, in this vintage, all cabernet franc, a fairly unusual grape for making a rosé. But in Oldfield’s hands, this wine still speaks of the variety, full of body, great raspberry and strawberry notes, even a hint of licorice. The delicate colour offers a visual preview of a wine that has beautiful structure, balance, and enough weight to make it a great food wine. It is a dry wine, perhaps reminiscent of some worthies from Provence, but unique, graceful, and a great quality statement from Sandra and her team. Barbecue some salmon, some prawns, add a risotto Milanese, and pretend the summer is not drawing to a close.

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August 12, 2015