BC Wine Icon John Schreiner Reviews Some Current Orofino Wines

John and Virginia Weber (right) moved from Saskatchewan in 2001 to take over a six-acre vineyard and, within a few years, became accomplished wine growers. Earlier in July, they hosted vertical tastings of their wines, reaching as far back as a 2003 Pinot Noir and a 2003 Cabernet-Merlot. They have not chosen to stay small even if there is great artisanal style in the winemaking. Orofino now is making about 4,500 cases a year.

Orofino Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling 2013 ($22 for 600 cases). Here is a polished and refined Riesling, with aromas and flavours of lime around a spine of minerals. The wine is crisply tangy and dry with good potential to age. 91.

Orofino Home Vineyard Old Vines Riesling 2013 ($29 for 100 cases). Most of this was fermented in old barrels; two barrels were fermented with wild yeast for additional complexity. The racy acidity is nicely balanced with residual sugar. There are aromas and flavours of lime and grapefruit around a mineral core. The finish is tangy. 90.

Orofino Scout Vineyard Riesling 2013 ($22 for 350 cases). A touch more residual sugar brings out aromas and flavours of lime, apple and peach. The texture is juicy. 90.

Orofino Celentano Vineyard Gamay 2013 ($23 for 120 cases). This could be a light Beaujolais Cru wine. The aromas and flavours of spicy cherry and raspberry dance on the palate. A note of pepper on the finish wraps up this lively wine very nicely. 90

Orofino Home Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 ($32). The wine begins with aromas of cherries mingling with the toasty notes from the barrels. On the palate, there are flavours of cherry and strawberry with a touch of mocha on the finish. 90.

Orofino Red Bridge Merlot 2011 ($25). This is the only wine in Orofino’s portfolio not made with Similkameen fruit. The Merlot grapes come from the Oak Knoll Vineyard in Kaleden. This is a very quaffable Merlot (a gold medal winner at the All Canadian Wine Awards) with aromas and flavours of black currant and blueberry. 88.

Orofino Beleza 2011 ($34). This is the winery’s flagship Bordeaux blend, comprising 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Dark in colour, the wine has a ripe, concentrated texture. There are aromas and flavours of black currant, black cherry and mulberry nicely framed with oak from the 20 months aging in French and American oak barrels. It is a sophisticated wine with the potential to age easily for another five to seven years. 93.

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