Stone’d? I have to admit, I had a good chuckle at the package that accompanied a couple of new wines from Stoneboat Vineyards.
The Okanagan Winery has shed its conservative mantle in launching these latest labels. The Stone’d wines are well-made blends which will doubtless get plenty of attention.
In case I didn’t ‘get’ it completely, along with the wines was a pair of kaleidoscopic glasses. Put them on and you’ll soon be singing Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Wear them too long and you’ll walk into a door. Either way, a headache is guaranteed.
The idea behind Stone’d is to call attention to Stoneboat’s unique, rocky home vineyard. It’s at the gravelly end of Black Sage bench, and they’ve named it ‘Gravelbar.’
Maybe it is a bit of a stretch. But the in your face, ‘stoner’ reference could well prove more successful than the under-stated sketch of the stone sled that has adorned label so far.
Here’s another offering from Bernie Hadley Beauregard that’s sure to provoke a reaction. And that is precisely the point.
Stone’d White 2014
The wine formerly known as ‘Chorus’ combines roughly equal parts Pinot Blanc, Müller Thurgau, Schöenberger and Kerner, with a splash of Pinot Gris and a dribble of Viognier. This fruit driven blend sports upfront tropical notes, citrus, juicy acidity and touch of sweetness. Excellent value. Shows best when not too chilled. 90 pts. $18.99
(The first thing that struck me about this wine is that the label and dark glass implies it’s a red … while the Stone’d red wine label is blue. Then again, maybe I should have worn the glasses longer.)
Stone’d Red 2013
What a lot of people don’t know about Stoneboat is that the Martiniuks have likely propagated more vines in their nursery than anyone else in the Okanagan. Among them is Pinotage, the South African adopted blend of Pinot Noir and Cinsaut, that can be a challenge to sell. (Although, Stoneboat has won a well deserved BC Lieutenant Governor’s Award for theirs.) This blend of 58% Pinotage and 42% Pinot Noir adds up to a nice balance, with the brighter cherry notes of the Pinot underpinned by the earthiness of the Pinotage. The medium bodied palate is plush and plummy, juicy with some restrained toasty notes and a lengthy end. Easy drinking and fun—like the label. 90 pts. $18.99
These wines (sold at private and VQA stores but not at the winery) are the opening salvo in an ongoing rebranding process that will see even more emphasis placed on Stoneboat’s stony site, and that almost every estate wine produced is Pinot based.