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.

Fizziotherapy 2011 – Therapy Vineyards (Naramata, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [C+]

Fizziotherapy 2011 – Therapy Vineyards, 11.0% ABV, 750 ml., (Naramata, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)


on the back label:

“Make sure to stretch your jaw muscles with this deliciously off-dry and frothy wine. Intense aromas of tangerines, peaches and apples, match with the light zingy acid of this wine.

A blend of Riesling, Orange-Muscat and Viognier, this fun fusion is the perfect aperitif or enjoyed with fresh Okanagan fruits and summer sun. Produced slightly off-dry, frizzante style.”

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  • Style: (riesling, orange-muscat, viognier blend) Sparkling Wine
  • Taste: Off-dry crisp tangy medium white wine acidic apple sticky gums
  • Where I got it :Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $25 (after 10% off), September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to sparkling wine aficionados: 50/50

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Bottle cap top. Pours clear medium golden yellow with quickly dissipating small bubbles, a couple singular slow streams.

Nose: apple, mild peachy, a touch of minerals. (lvl-2)-pungency

Attack: crisp off-dry sour bite, slight fizzy

Mid-palate: (lvl-2-sweetness), fruity apple, hints of peach, medium tangy firm acidity,

Finish: residual tart sticky gums,

Summary: This off-dry wine does a good job of opening up the palate – a nice aperitif, as advertised. Solid apple-white grape flavour, certainly better than their rosé rendition [C]. Not quite a Champagne, but decent.

Fizziotherapy Rosée 2011 – Therapy Vineyards (Naramata, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [C]

Fizziotherapy Rosé 2011 – Therapy Vineyards, 14.0% ABV, 750 ml., (Naramata, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)


on the back label:

“Make sure to stretch your jaw muscles with this deliciously off-dry and frothy wine. Intense aromas of strawberries, red flowers and cherry play nicely with the fruity, full bodied rosé.

Packed with bubbles and strawberry flavour this Pinot Noir and Merlot Rosé is the perfect aperitif or enjoyed with fresh Okanagan fruits and summer sun. Produced slightly off-dry frizzante style.”

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  • Style: (rosé) Sparkling Wine
  • Taste: Alcoholic muddly strawberry off-dry tart non-refreshing
  • Where I got it :Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $25 (after 10% off), September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to sparkling wine aficionados: no

Visual: (cellard for 5 years). Bottle cap top. Pours clear blush pink with bubbles hugging the glass. Drank almost flat after cellaring for so long so I injected it with some CO2.

Nose: strawberry, tangy-sour acidity. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: crisp-alcoholic bitter

Mid-palate: tart, persistent alcohol presence, (lvl-2-sweetness), strawberry, slightly salty

Finish: cherry exhale, off-dry sticky gums, residual fruity

Summary: The alcoholic appears right from the start, causing the berry flavours to become muddled and disoriented. Didn’t enjoy the therapy and won’t be coming back for a second session.

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.”

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  • 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 $$$.

JoieFarm Muscat 2011 (Naramata, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: [C]

Muscat 2011 – JoieFarm Winery, 11.1% ABV – 750ml, (Naramata, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine)

on the back label:

“…The inspiration for this wine is the dry Muscats of Northern Italy, low in alcohol, crisp in acidity and perfumed like no other wine. The true charm of Muscat is that the pure floral, peachy aromatics are exactly what you will find in the glass….”

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  • Style: (vintage, Muscat) White Wine
  • Taste: Big acidic soft sour peach med tart lime more acid
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $26 CAD (after 10% off) – 750ml., May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to white wine lovers:

Visual: Screw-top cap. Pours clear golden straw yellow

Nose: pear, apple, hints of stone fruit, light tangy. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: incoming sour fruity

Mid-palate: peach accompanied by immediate cloying sustained acidic tartness, (lvl-3-sweetness), lime, white table grape

Finish: residual acidic sour

Summary: Just average, no particular delicious flavours or characteristics, yet nothing offensive about it either.

Elephant Island Cherry Wine (Naramata, BC, Canada)

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  • 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.

Mistelle 2007 – Lake Breeze Winery (Naramata, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: B

Mistelle 2007 – Lake Breeze Winery, 17.0% ABV – 375ml., (Naramata, BC, Canada)

description of Mistelle via Wiki:

  • It is produced by adding alcohol to non-fermented or partially fermented grape juice.
  • The addition of alcohol stops the fermentation and, as a consequence Mistelle is sweeter than fully fermented grape juice in which the sugars turn to alcohol.

My notes:

  • Style: (Mistelle) Fortified Wine
  • Taste: Balanced white raisin eau-de-vie apple pear 
  • Where I got it : Liberty Wines @Granville Island
  • How much: $30 – 375ml., sometime in 2010 (?)
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: no longer produced

Visual: Pours golden amber, super clear.

Nose: fruity muscat-riesling, white-grape/citrus/stonefruit. (lvl-7)-pungency.

Attack: sugars, alcohol detection + bitter

Mid-palate: (lvl-7)-sweetness, medium tang, (MAIN) white grape/raisin, apple/pear, eau-de-vie alcohol, hints of lime

Finish: medium alcohol warmth, clean acidity, residual light cloying fruity finish.

Summary: Great structure, body, and drinkability. Flavours are nice but not extremely pronounced. Sadly Lake Breeze doesn’t appear to be producing it anymore.

Merlot Icewine – Lang Vineyards (Naramata, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Merlot Icewine 2000 (!)– Lang Vineyards, 10.0% ABV – 200ml., (Naramata, BC, Canada)


  • Silver – 2003 All Canadian Wine Championships
  • Bronze – 2002 Canadian Wine Awards
  • Gold – 2001 All Canadian Wine Championships
  • Gold – 2001 Indiana State Fair Wine Competition
  • Silver – 2001 International Eastern Wine Competition

My Notes:

  • Style: (Merlot) Icewine
  • Taste: Raspberry-plum liqueur with natural sweetness
  • Where I got it: Liquor Depot @Cambie
  • How much: $61 (5% off) – 200ml. ($229/750ml btl), January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: no, clearly overpriced

Visual: 2000!! also the winner of numerous accolades. This has got to blow my mind, right?? Unique red corked bottle with a red wax seal on top. Pours XO Brandy-coloured orange, ultra-clear.

Nose: Raspberry, light raisin, plum, hints of strawberry, very clean aromas (7/10-pungency)

Attack: dense fruity sweetness, fruity sugars

Mid-palate: (9/10)-sweetness, (MAIN) raspberry jam, plum wine, red raisin, red apple

Finish: crisp acidity, clean mild alcohol warmth, tangy sweet fruity finish.

Summary: This drinks like a refined liqueur, but not much more. The sweetness is controlled, body is decent, but lacks complexity and wow factor. Mind blow it didn’t. Also, 14 years cellaring didn’t do anything for this bottle, but I hardly expected it to. I paid $61 for my 200ml bottle. Here’s one asking for $250,000. Rule of Icewines: expensive ≠ more delicious.

JoieFarm Riesling – Okanagan Valley (Naramata, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Riesling 2010 – JoieFarm Winery,11.9% ABV – 750ml, (Naramata, BC, Canada)

On the back label:

“Riesling, at its best, balances mouthwatering acidity, a  touch of sweetness and moderate alcohol levels in support of aromas and flavours of citrus and tropical fruit, flowers and spice. The greatest examples we know of originate in Germany and it was Germans who brought the first Riesling to the Okanagan Valley.”

  • Style: (Vintage) Riesling
  • Taste: acidic sugars -> sweet-sour/green apple/pear/lime -> cloying/tart/tangy-tart finish.
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $25 (after 10%) – 750ml., May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine imbibers: yes

Visual: Aluminum screw cap top, Pours clear light golden yellow, with a few bubbles on the bottom.

Nose: Tangy-sour red/green apple, white table grapes, hints of peach. (4)-aromatic nose.

Attack: acidity/dense sugars

Mid-palate: (6)-sweetness, (7)-sourness (MAIN) (7)-green apple, pear, lime

Finish: (4)-cloying sugars, medium tartness, lingering sour-tangy finish.

Summary: Truly a delicate balance of sweet-sour-tangy-fruit-alcohol, and body as advertised on the front label.   (Note: all numbers above are on a 10-point scale, with 1 being weak and 10 being the strongest)

La Frenz Rosé 2009 (Canada)

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La Frenz Rosé 2009, 12.0% ABV – 750ml, (Penticton, BC, Canada)

from the La Frenz website:

“This dark salmon pink rosé is brimming with a kaleidoscope of red fruits including freshly picked strawberries and cranberries. Enjoy chilled with salmon and fresh summer salads.”

  • Style: (Vintage) Rosé
  • My Rating: C+
  • Taste Profile: fruity strawberry/acidity -> herbacious cranberry/tart/sour -> warm alcoholic finish.
  • Where I got it: Direct website order
  • How much: $18, Aug 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to rosé wine aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours light cranberry red with a pinkish hue. Alcoholic sour strawberries on the nose. Drinks with the fruity strawberries as advertised, 6/10-acidic sourness, light herbaciousness, cranberry aroma and 7/10-tartness, 3-10/sweetness, finishing with a lingering tart/sour off-dry, warm alcoholic finish. Medium complexity, med depth, good transitions, decent drinkability. An easy-going wine.