A lot of strange wines show up on my doorstep throughout the year. Some are awesome, some middle of the road, and yep, some are downright nasty, but I think this was the first time I got something like this.

The folks at CedarCreek have a great reputation for making some odd wines from time to time, they’ve even made a “Madeira” style wine that was passably great for a madeira fan like me. So imagine my delight when I saw this come through.

CedarCreek got themselves an amphora. What’s that? It’s basically a big clay pot the Greeks used to use to make and store wine in. In the intervening years since amphorae of wine sunk on ancient Greek triremes for archeologist to discover, a few regions still use them for winemaking though they’ve lost the pointy bottom we associate with the ancient versions. Darryl Booker, the winemaker at CedarCreek sourced the amphora from Chianti and decided that southern Okanagan cabernet sauvignon was the best grape for this project. The wine spend 8 months on the skins inside the amphora and saw no oak at all.

The CedarCreek 2013 Amphora Wine Project a natural wine (for all you wine nerds out there), and visually no different from what you’d expect from Osoyoos cabernet. The nose shows all the character you’d expect from cabernet sauvignon but with very little bell pepper and a…clay/graphite quality over liquorice and cherry fruits with good perfume/floral tones. Very tasty on the palate with big tannins and deeply extracted fruits. The lack of oak will be noticed by some, but certainly not missed. It tastes more like an unusual or indigenous grape from Portugal or Greece than Okanagan cabernet-but that is sort of the point. Interesting and fun to drink, certainly of interest to share with fellow wine aficionados and should cellar well if you can get your hands on 2-3 bottles.

It’s strictly limited to 360 bottles and seems to only be available at the winery. I’m not going to tell you to order it online and ship it to Alberta since that seems to be against the rules still, but I’m sure you could order it and either get a friend to pick it up for you and bring it back or you could get it yourself when you visit the winery-oh, it’s about $53 and whatever the taxes are in BC.

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