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Sandhill Merlot, 2020

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2020 Okanagan Valley 750 mL, 13.8% ALC/VOL

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A purple garnet colour with a bouquet of blackberry, dark plum, violet, sweet vanilla, dark chocolate, oak, and spice box. This medium to full-bodied Merlot has moderate drying tannins, great structure, and moderate acidity. The fruit-forward palate shows notes of dark plum, currant, and cherry, with accents of sweet spice and oak. The extra-dry, lingering finish shows notes of blackberry, plum, vanilla, Chai spice, and black tea.

Enjoy with grilled red meats and sautéed mushrooms; Portobello mushrooms; black bean stews; lamb stews; roasted leg of lamb; beef brisket; three-year aged Cheddar and Asiago cheese. Decanting is recommended if drinking now through 2023.

Sugar: 0.1 g/L


The Merlot grapes, showing nice ripe flavours, moderate sugar levels and good natural acidity were harvested October 20 through 25 from Hidden Terrace Vineyard and Sandhill Estate Vineyard in the Okanagan Valley. The grapes received a loose crush, and a gentle but complete extraction of the fruit. The warm fermentation lasted over 14 days, followed by a full malolactic fermentation. The wine was then aged 14 months in 70% French and 30% American oak barrels, utilizing some larger format French foudres to achieve complexity without overpowering with oak flavours.


The months of May and June experienced cool, wet conditions which slowed growth, disrupting some spring bud development thereby reducing crop load in the vineyards. Summer began with a bang and from early July through August there was consistent sunshine, high heat units and timely rains.  A very warm September provided the perfect conditions for any lagging maturity resulting from the slow spring start. The great weather continued into October, extending hang time for some varietals that needed that extra push. Overall, it was a great growing season with healthy canopies, the ability for the vines to respond to the weather, and fewer periods of shut down due to extreme heat, therefore allowing grape maturity to continue on an even and steady rate with optimum conditions. [The Osoyoos region saw 1616 GDD].

  • National Wine Awards of Canada 2022, Silver Medal National Wine Awards of Canada 2022, Silver Medal
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    The 2020 vintage was a featured wine in November's Wine Club package, 2022.

    Geographical Indication: BC VQA Okanagan Valley
    Vineyard: Hidden Terrace and Sandhill Estate vineyards
    Residual Sugar: 0.1 g/L
    Cases Produced: 4,467

    Appearance: Semi-opaque. Dark ruby red colour.
    Nose: Cherry, raspberry, blackberry, plum, savoury green herbs, vanilla, black pepper.
    Palate: Medium acid, medium tannin, medium body. Sour cherry, cranberry, blackberry, green pepper, smoke, black pepper, hint of vanilla.
    Quality: 91 points – Wine Club Canada. Outstanding.

    Food Pairing: Cheese-stuffed portobello mushroom with roasted Mediterranean vegetables, Thai waterfall beef salad, coconut and chili poached chicken, slow-cooked beef brisket, and filet mignon with baked sweet potato fries.

    • National Wine Awards of Canada 2022, Silver Medal