Apricot Dessert Wine 2009 – Elephant Island Winery (Naramata, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [C+]

TL:DR – “rounded apricot-plum flavour, but tangy sourness sweetness tires the palate”

Apricot Dessert Wine 2009, 9% ABV – 375 ml., (Naramata, British Columbia, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*

  • Style: (Apricot) Dessert fruit wine
  • Taste:
  • Where I got it : Newport Liquor / Port Moody
  • How much: $23 CAD –375 ml., May 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: no
  • What made an impression: huge fruity sourness

Visual: (cellared for 9 years). Pours slightly hazy dull copper brown, a few bubbles along the perimeter.

Nose:  (lvl-2)-pungency

Attack: big sour, medium tart, juicy entry

Mid-palate: rich sour apricot, japanese plum, controlled (lvl-7-sweetness), tangy-soft acidic sour

Finish: residual sugars and tang

Summary: Lots of sourness and tanginess in this one, medium bodied with decent complexity. The flavour is mostly clean but after sipping this without a meal, the sourness becomes a bit harsh and the sweetness too candy-like. A bit above average.

Rest Easy Dry Pear – Naramata Cider Co. (Naramata, BC, Canada)

Rest Easy Dry Pear Hard Cider – Naramata Cider Company (@Elephant Island Winery), 6% ABV, 750 ml., (Naramata, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft cider*)

on the back label:

This tantalizingly dry cider was produced with only the finest locally grown pears. JUST PEARS. The hard work is done. Shrug off your pack, kick back and REST EASY.”


  • Style: (dry) Pear Cider
  • Taste: Natural-tasting tangy/sour white wine pear-muscat
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N. Bby
  • How much: $15 (after 7.5% off) – 750 ml., September 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes, quite different from local BC ciders

Visual: Hefty bottle, quality cap. Pours clear straw yellow with very lively dissipating head, very active large CO clusters and singular champagne streams.

Nose: juicy muscat, white wine tangy acidic. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, BIG-fizzy CO2

Mid-palate: yeasty tangy-sour, half-bright juicy pear-muscat, (lvl-1-sweetness), pear peel

Finish: burpy, residual sour acidity, dry fruity

Summary: Big full mouthfeel and a solid pear-muscat body. You can be confident of the inherent quality by the weight of the bottle and the vigor the CO2 pour. Quite drinkable, not terribly complex but worth my $$$.

Elephant Island Cherry Wine (Naramata, BC, Canada)


  • My Rating: [C-]

Cherry (Table) Wine 2011 – Elephant Island Orchard Wines Ltd., 11% ABV – 750ml., (Naramata, BC, Canada) (*local BC Wine*)

I visited the winery on a road trip waaaaay back in 2010. Unfortunately they sold out of this wine when I went so I thought “it must be good”; I ended up buying next year’s vintage at a local liquor store. This is only my 2nd EE review, I still have bottles of their 2008s in my cellar…

  • Style: (cherry, table wine) Fruit Wine
  • Taste: Dry fruity cherry supertart oak hints
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek, Vancouver.
  • How much: $20 (after 10% off) – 750ml., April 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: not amazing enough

Visual: Pours deep blood red.

Nose: acidic, cherry, light woody, alcohol detection. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: partially thin, incoming dry fruity,

Mid-palate: (lvl-1)-sweetness, (MAIN) black cherry juice without the sweetness, hints of oak -> tangy acidity

Finish: mild alcoholic heat, tart palate roughness, dull dry “cherry stem” finish.

Summary: Drinks best warmer, at >20°C/68°F, drinks very flat when chilled. 1st glass was decent, after that every other sip is straightforward and predictable. I’m prefer my fruit wines sweeter and fleshier, this one’s not for me.

Stellaport (NV) – Elephant Island Orchard Winery (BC/Canada)


  • My Rating: B

Stellaport (NV) (purchased in 2010) – Elephant Island Orchard Winery, 18% ABV – 375ml, (Naramata, BC, Canada)

from their website:

“A port-style wine made exclusively from estate grown Stella cherries. Cherries are harvested from a specific orchard site which receives concentrated southwest exposure for the duration of the ripening season, producing extremely sweet, concentrated fruit. In crafting Stellaport, we employ the Spanish technique of “solera”. Through this process a mother barrel was established in 2001. Each year we release half the barrel replacing it with the current year’s vintage.So what’s with the label, you ask? The label pays homage to that Spanish tradition of the Solera. The bottle is wrapped in headlines: moments in time that have passed since the wine has rested in barrel. A time capsule on the outside, and inside, and combined… a brilliant conversation starter.”

  • Style: (cherry) Port (style)
  • Taste Profile: Sweet tangy fruitiness -> alcohol/deep cherry/spiced oak -> chocolate/tart/sour/alcoholic finish
  • Where I got it : Liberty Wines / Liquor Depot (Vancouver)
  • How much: $28, Sometime in 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: perhaps in a cocktail
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: Fruit wines are always exciting to me. Grapes are cool but there are other cool fruits too; cherries being one of them. To me cherries bring to mind deep, luscious flavours as well as a stained shirt when I’m not careful. Anyways this pours a very dark red with nice legs. A tingly-tart, fruit jammy, oaked cherry on the nose.

Attack: 8/10-medium aggressive sweetness, tangy, gently dissipating/not cloying

Mid-palate: Soft alcohol detection nicely balanced with cherry juice, green vegetal notes, deep lush flavour, lightly spiced oak

Finish: mild chocolate, light tartness, 4/10-sourness with a smooth med-alcoholic finish, with just a touch of tannic roughness in the mouth.

Medium complexity, medium-high depth, good transitions, good sippability, good interest factor since it’s a fruit wine. It’s definitely more elegant, supple, and sippable than your average cherry liqueur. Stay tuned for some cherry liqueur reviews soon.