Sandhill winemaker Howard Soon began making this single vineyard Bordeaux red blend in 2000 with fruit from Richard Cleave’s meticulously-farmed Ph... Read more
Sandhill makes only single vineyard wines and the most interesting are released under what the winery calls its small lots program. At 511 cases, S... Read more
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Sandhill winemaker Howard Soon began making this single vineyard Bordeaux red blend in 2000 with fruit from Richard Cleave’s meticulously-farmed Phantom Creek Vineyard. Cleave is the Okanagan’s most experienced vineyard manager, having worked for clients on Black Sage Road since 1975. Currently, vineyards under Sandhill’s control are his major clients. Phantom Creek, however, is his small family vineyard, planted primarily in Bordeaux reds.Sandhill, entirely dedicated to making single vineyard wines, releases its premium wines under its Small Lots program, so-called because production is limited. At 532 cases, this vintage of <i>one</i> is one of the largest of the Small Lots releases. In the first release from the 2000 vintage, a mere 75 cases were made.Soon’s blends have become more complex. The initial <i>one</i> was made with one-third each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot. In the current release, Cabernet Sauvignon has the spotlight since it ripened optimally in the superb 2005 vintage. The wine makes a great first impression with aromas of red berries and toasted oak. The flavours are bursting with sweet fruit, tasting of currants, mocha and red liquorice. The long, ripe tannins give the wine a rich texture with the promise that it is age-worthy. 91 points.
Sandhill makes only single vineyard wines and the most interesting are released under what the winery calls its small lots program. At 511 cases, Sandhill <i>One</i> represents the largest volume for any release in the program.Winemaker Howard Soon builds complexities into his single vineyard reds by blending varieties within a vineyard. The seven-acre Phantom Creek Vineyard on Black Sage Road, owned by Sandhill’s senior vineyard manager Richard Cleave, is planted chiefly to Bordeaux reds. Both winemaker and grower sign the bottles. The Sandhill <i>One</i> blend is the flagship wine in the entire small lots series, priced at a slight premium to Sandhill <i>Two</i> (also Cabernet-dominated) and Sandhill <i>Three</i> (a blend of Sangiovese, Barbera, Cabernet and Merlot).The wine presents an attractive purple-tinted ruby colour in the glass, with aromas of spice and red berries. On the palate, there is a generous dollop of sweet fruit, with tons of spice, black cherries, red plums and a hint of chocolate. The balance gives this wine a vibrant brightness of flavour, with barely perceptible oak. The absence of bell pepper notes indicates that the fruit was ripened to perfection. This wine, with its elegance and lively character, stands in contrast to some dense cut-with-a-knife California Cabernets. 92 points.
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