Elephant Island Orchard Wines Pink Elephant & Stellaport

Naramata, Okanagan Valley

A double header Drink?  Sure! It’s Father’s Day, the sun is shining (sorry Okanagan), and these two celebratory wines are both delicious.  And besides, do you really need a reason to drink pink bubble or luscious port?  I didn’t think so.

The more vintages I drink of Elephant Island, the more I am convinced that Miranda and Del Halladay’s orchard on Naramata Bench is one of BC’s top gems.   That’s right – orchard.  Elephant Island produces wine from premium, lovingly tended, heritage fruit – and it shows. Their credo: exceptional fruit – nothing else, stainless steel aging, and defining a style that suits the fruit.  Cheers!  Consulting winemaker Christine Leroux knows a lot about exceptional fruit, plus how to treat it.   She trained at the L’Institut D’Oenologie de Bordeaux, and has work experience with Chateau Petrus, Chateau Margaux and Cassegrain.  Just imagine that pedigree and expertise trained towards orchard fruit, rather than grapes.

A true family affair, I thought Elephant Island would make a great Father’s Day Drink. It’s not easy to choose, however, so I’m offering up two for dear old dad (he’s worth it).

Start off with a toast with Pink Elephant. Fun-loving sibling of Elephant Island’s cult and coveted The Little King, this is Okanagan Granny Smith cuvee, with some of EI’s sweet Cassis added in.  Kir Royale anyone??  Bright salmon hue, bursting with bubbly flavours of apple, citrus, sweet cherry and red currant, with delicate floral notes and a crisp and dry cassis-scented finish.  Bright, fresh and fun, a wonderful wine to start off the festivities.

After dinner, when the cheese plate makes its appearance, bring out a bottle of this unique port-style wine.  Stellaport is made from Stella cherries, picked extra-ripe and ultra sweet.  Like Sherry, Stellaport is crafted in the traditional Solera method, a fractional blending process for aging wine. The finished product is a mixture of ages, with the average age gradually increasing as the process continues over the years.  The 2009 release contains wine from every vintage reaching back to 2001, all of which have been resting and gaining complexity in French oak.  A rich cassis and cocoa nose is followed by a velvet palate of jammy dark cherry, spice and dark chocolate.  The finish goes on and on and on – very impressive.

Dad deserves a double Drink.  Happy Father’s Day!

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By Treve Ring, Online DRINK Editor

June 19, 2010

Written By:

Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade.\r\n\r\nIn addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for ...

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