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Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, $20
The story begins with the sandy soils that make up Tinhorn Creek’s estate Diamondback Vineyard on British Columbia’s Black Sage Bench, but harvest spanned a month to create four separate lots. There were hand-picked lots that were split up between steel and wood fermentations. There also were machine-harvested lots that underwent the same fermentation, albeit both of the French and American barrels done with native yeast. The multi-layered approach makes for a complex Chardonnay exuding aromas of toast, pear and apple with sliced almond. Its hallmark might be in the mouth feel that offers roundness with Bartlett pear and hazelnut flavors, backed by lemon zest and finish with a touch of sweet butter. Enjoy with steamed clams, halibut or a cucumber and tuna salad. It ranks among the best examples of Northwest Chardonnay on either side of the 49th parallel as a result of its gold medal at the 2017 Cascadia Wine Competition.
Production: 1,866 cases