Tuesday, March 22

Tinhorn, Inniskillin, Gerhinger and Hester Creek

From Osoyoos, we headed back north to Oliver for a brief tasting tour. Inniskillin was our first stop, before breakfast even (though in our defense, we did share an orange). Inniskillin is primarily an Ontario winery, but their small production and tasting room in the Okanagan is still worth a visit, in my opinion. Inniskillin is an Irish name, but at the Oliver winery, they have Native symbols on their Dark Horse label. Dark Horse is their 23 acre Oliver vineyard.

Pinot Blanc - Dark Horse Vineyard '03 - Strong apple flavor. Light. Nice. The grapes for this Pinot Blanc were grown on our Dark Horse Estate Vineyard. Cold fermented in stainless steel tanks to preserve the wine's intense fresh fruit aromas. Fresh green apple flavours and a crisp acidity that lasts through the finish.

Gew├╝rztraminer - Dark Horse Vineyard '03 - Delicate, like water. Strong fruity nose, though. Nice finish. Cold fermented in stainless steel tanks to preserve the wines fresh, crisp fruit. Medium bodied, with a nice acidity that last through the finish.

Chardonnay Reserve '02 - Not like a chard. 60% stainless steel fermentation - 40% in French Oak with full malolactic fermentation. Medium weight with mild citrus and vanilla aromas and honey & apple flavours.

Cabernet Sauvignon - Dark Horse Vineyard '02 - enjoyable nose. Strong tannins which lead to a strong finish. Aged 50% American and 50% French oak barrels for 12 months. Intense vanilla, blackberry spicy nose. Rich jammy black pepper and currant flavours.

Meritage Dark Horse Vineyard '02 - Immediate nice fruit flavor. Soft nose, mild finish. Meritage marries the best characteristics of the three noble Bordeaux varietals. 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged for 18 months in a combination of American and French Oak barrels. Black cherry aromas, soft tannins and a toasty long smooth finish.

Vidal Icewine - Plut Vineyard '03 - Sigh. So wonderful. Fruit and honey. Ripe sweet honey apricot aromas, concentrated peach and apricot flavours and a long finish.

Riesling Icewine - Dark Horse Vineyard '03 - Oh, so good. Light straw colour with very sweet honey, apricot aromas.

I wish I could afford $52 - 60 bucks for 375 mL of those...

Tinhorn, Gerhinger and Hester Creek to follow later

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