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Tinhorn Creek would rather lose money than sell wine before it's time—isn't that worth getting excited about?

June 20, 2017

By Neal McLennan / Photo: Tinhorn Creek

Imagine you’re a widget maker. You spend the better part of the year creating these perfect widgets and when you’re finally done you’re told you can’t sell them—for three years. You’d probably quit the widget business. But the scenario isn’t all that different for a winemaker: they only make money when the wine is for sale, so making the voluntary decision to hold the wine back until it’s ready to drink is huge. And then not charging any more for the service? That’s crazy enough that it has to be taken advantage of.

I was thinking of this tough economic rule a few days back when I was having a bottle of the 2013 Oldfield Series pinot noir from Tinhorn Creek, which, amazingly, has just been released. 2013! Imagine if you had the foresight to buy a dozen condos in Mount Pleasant when this wine was being made. To put it in perspective, almost every other pinot in our market is from 2015. Why would someone be willing do this? Well for starters, they take the idea of reserve wines (in Tinhorn’s case they’re branded with the “Oldfield” moniker) seriously. The wine spends 18 months mellowing out in neutral barrels before bottling and then another year in the bottle doing a little more chilling out. The result is a wine that might have seemed over exuberant in its youth (i.e. two years ago) when it had been all about the cherry and cola notes, now has a chance to emphasize some of it’s more subtle traits: dried herbs, liquorice root, cacao. And notwithstanding the generosity of Tinhorn for cellaring it for you, it probably could benefit from another year more—which is the least you can do seeing as how they give you two years for free.

Also, a quick nod for the subtle design change on the label. The art team here very much loves people who care so much about fonts!

Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Pinot Noir 2013, $32

 

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