Brian Schmidt, the winemaker at Vineland Estates has created a fascinating Cabernet Franc using a solera system. He calls it Legacy and it’s produced from vines planted in 2010 on a south-facing slope of the Bo-Teek vineyard, adjacent to the winery (just under an acre of clay with a limestone substrate). The first wine from this plot was made in 2012.
“By blending previous years and removing vintages and winemaking variables,” says Brian, he’s looking to get a sense of the terroir and “to understand the spirit of the place.”
“Every yearly vintage from our Legacy Block is fermented, refined and collected together…when bottling each year, we only draw off enough of the multiple-vintage blend so that we leave behind precisely 1,800 litres, in three 600-litre barrels for future blending.” This will ensure that there’s a portion of every vintage collected. “Generations ahead of us,” writes Brian, “will taste all of our vintage years in one glass.”
I tasted a barrel sample of Legacy at a Zoom tasting that Brian Schmidt conducted and I can’t wait to taste it once it’s bottled.
Legacy is bottled in magnums and sells for $300.
Tinhorn Creek Sauvignon Blanc 2020 (Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan)
Shining, straw colour; lightly floral, spicy nose of grapefruit and green plum with a suggestion of oak; medium-bodied, dry, apple flavour with citrus notes; fresh and lively on the palate. White Bordeaux in style. Drink now. (90)
Tinhorn Creek Chardonnay 2018
Bright, straw colour; spicy, apple bouquet with toasty oak notes; medium-bodied, dry, clove, apple and toast flavours with well-integrated oak; beautifully balanced, great length finishing on a lingering note of oak spice. Drink now through 2022. (91)
Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Reserve Chardonnay 2019
Bright, straw colour; toasty, spicy apple nose with a light floral note; medium to full-bodied, dry, apple and pear flavours; rich and full on the palate, with well-integrated oak; lovely mouth-feel, beautifully balanced and lingering. Drink now through 2022. (92)
Tinhorn Creek Pinot Noir 2019
Deep purple-black in colour; cedary, black raspberry nose with vanilla oak notes; medium-bodied, dry, firmly structured, sour cherry and blackcurrant flavours carried on lively acidity to a grippy finish of ripe tannins. Hold for 1–2 years. (89–90)
Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Reserve Merlot 2018
Deep ruby-purple in colour; cedary, blueberry nose with oak spice; bull-bodied, dry, richly extracted plum and blueberry flavours; beautifully balanced, firmly structured, juicy, with evident but ripe tannins on the end taste. Hold till mid-2022 and beyond. (91)
Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Reserve Syrah 2018
Deep ruby-purple in colour; cedary, spicy, herbal blackberry nose with white pepper notes; medium to full-bodied, dry, savoury, smoky, tarry, blackberry flavour with herbal notes; lively acidity and ripe tannins. Drink 2022–23. (89)
Other wines tasted:
Malivoire Courtney Gamay 2019 (Beamsville Bench, $29.95)
Dense purple-ruby in colour; cedary, cedary, plum on the nose with vanilla notes; medium-bodied, dry, red plum and cherry flavour with a herbal twist; firmly structured, lively acidity; wine to lay down for 2 years. (89–90)
Malivoire Stouck Farmstead Red 2019 (Lincoln Lakeshore, $26.95)
57% Merlot and 43% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep purple colour; spicy, black cherry note with a mineral note; medium-bodied, dry, richly extracted cherry flavour; firm on the palate with a fine spine of acidity. (90)