Monthly Archives: June 2022

Phantom Creek Estates Announces 25th Anniversary of Prized Phantom Creek Vineyard

Advisor Wine Industry Network – Press Release – June 27, 2022

OLIVER, British Columbia (June 27, 2022) – The winemaking team at Phantom Creek Estates, the Okanagan Valley’s celebrated destination winery, is thrilled to announce the 25th anniversary of their award-winning Phantom Creek Vineyard along with a host of events and exclusive offerings to celebrate the occasion.  Established in 1996 by pioneering viticulturist Richard Cleave, Phantom Creek Vineyard is consistently recognized for producing some of the best red wines in Canada, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

Located on the lower terrace of the southwest-facing Black Sage Bench, Phantom Creek Vineyard is perched slightly above the valley floor, ensuring full access to the warm afternoon sun.  The vineyard’s well-draining sandy soils are the result of streams that slowly deposited nutrient-rich sediment over thousands of years.  Wines from this eight-acre site have garnered over 85 awards in recent history.

“Phantom Creek Vineyard has always been planted with the aim to produce the highest quality fruit possible, and we’re proud to continue that tradition today at Phantom Creek Estates,” said Mark Beringer, director of winemaking at Phantom Creek Estates.  “The wines we craft from Phantom Creek Vineyard are our most notable as we take a hands-on approach from time spent caring for the terroir to hand-picking the fruit to barrel fermenting each block.  Phantom Creek Vineyard produces interesting, stand-out wines from its distinctive sandy soil terroir, and we’re excited to celebrate 25 years of its value to the Okanagan Valley winemaking history.”

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Phantom Creek Vineyards, the winery is hosting a series of celebratory events that launched in May of this year and will take place through September, including a monthly Phantom Creek Vineyard-focused dinner series in the winery’s Red Ferment room held on the last Wednesday and Thursday of each month.  The multi-course gourmet dinners will be paired with Phantom Creek Vineyard wines, and a member of the winemaking team will be present to educate guests.  Additionally, the winery will host special weekly walking tours and tastings in the vineyard and will present guests with the opportunity to elevate any wine tasting experience in the tasting room to include samplings of Phantom Creek Vineyard wines.

Furthering the festivities, the winery will host a special Soirée en Rouge event on Saturday, July 9 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Guests are requested to wear red while enjoying a unique tasting experience featuring a variety of tasting stations, a pig roast, and live music from local band, the Rann Berry Band.  Tickets are priced at $150 per person or $100 per person for wine club members and can be purchased via this link.

The winery is also debuting a new Summer Picnic offering which is available daily and is BYO (bring your own) blanket.  Reservations are required for the Summer Picnic, and wine bottles and charcuterie trays are available for purchase to enjoy in the winery’s outdoor lounge and amphitheater.  Lastly, the winery will be hosting a Summer Music Series every Friday, beginning May 20 through September 16 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with live music in the amphitheater featuring local musicians.  Tickets can be purchased via this link.

Located at 4315 Black Sage Road in Oliver, British Columbia, Phantom Creek Estates can be reached by emailing info@phantomcreekestates.com, or visiting www.phantomcreekestates.com.

About Phantom Creek Estates

Phantom Creek Estates is a destination winery located on the famed Black Sage Bench of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, specializing in single-vineyard Bordeaux reds, Alsatian whites, and the Okanagan’s benchmark varieties of Viognier and Syrah from storied vineyard sites. From the start, the winery has been guided by the long-term vision of building one of the leading family-owned wineries in Canada. Cultivated in certified organic vineyards and made by an influential international winemaking team – Mark Beringer and Olivier Humbrecht MW – Phantom Creek Estates’ wines celebrate and speak to where they are grown.

To read the full article with photos: Advisor Wine Industry Network

SOUTH #OKANAGAN 2022 IWFS #WINE TOUR (PART 3)

The International Food & Wine Society – Sid Cross – June 20, 2022

Our final winery visit was the “piece de resistance” with an extensive tour, tasting, and outstanding lunch at PHANTOM CREEK ESTATES on the Black Sage Bench. The entrance into a most special place is noted by the welcoming exquisite two angels tall sculpture by Wu Ching Ju on our arrival. The Estate vineyards started in 1977 as the Becker Project are cleverly guided by Olivier Humbrecht MW organic/biodynamic master from Alsace. The winery founded by Richter Bai is a spectacular showpiece including the finest of everything from the 22 Austrian custom-made best Franz Stockinger (built a second plant to fulfill this remarkable order) oak casks to the beautifully crafted Dale Chihuly mouth-blown glass of 270 pieces chandelier in the Level One tasting room. Their amazing capable team also includes Director of Winemaking globally experienced Mark Beringer, and new attentive General Manager Bill Lui (also has One Faith Vineyards).

Reception was in the interesting History Room with framed soil profiles worth studying of their 4 different vineyard terroirs: Kobau, Evernden Spring, Becker, and Phantom Creek sipping 2019 VIOGNIER only 360 cases. It is from Kobau (gravel with cool afternoons) on the Golden Mile Bench using both stainless & oak in a fresh perfumed elegant textured style showing to advantage in the those classy German Stolzle Lausitz perfect glasses. Tasted 5 more wines:

RIESLING Estate 2019  $33 On elevated SW slopes in Okanagan Falls it is a salute to Alsace with the wonderful vibrant balanced mouth feel.

CHARDONNAY Small Lots Similkameen 2020 $48 Hot days cool nights for 16 Barrels fermented full cluster purchased grapes with partial malolactic fermentation shows strong fruit forward flavours at sensible 12.9 abv with some further development expected as it ages.

KOBAU CUVEE 2018 $80 From 2005 plantings on Golden Mile Bench of 45+ Merlot (savoury bramble), 35 Cab Franc (herbal spices + elegance), 19.5 Syrah (darker assertive fruit) co-fermented with Viognier at 14 abv. Spent 21 months in barrels of 45% new oak. Like the open raspberry violets aromas.

BECKER CUVEE 2016 $70 Merlot dominant Bordeaux blend showing success from late ripening of older vines with Cab Franc adding freshness at 14.5 abv with expressive interesting earthy almost mushroomy bouquet developing.

PHANTOM CREEK CUVEE 2018 $150 (Magnums $300) Best expression of their Cabernet Sauvignon (40%) dominant blend with Petite Verdot, Malbec, Cab Franc & Syrah for 21 months in 65% new French oak is powerful 14.5 abv has minty almost eucalyptus notes with bramble herbal blackberries and black pepper (more than bell pepper) and is a promising unique standard of what top Okanagan reds are capable of producing for cellaring.

Lunch was a tour-de-force culinary treat by talented Chef Alessa Valdez and her skilled brigade using local ingedients where possible to match the stellar wines produced. Ambitious lunch menu of excellent inspired choices including as shown artistic presentations of shaved root salad, killer burrata course, Halibut, and Duck Confit. Where are those new Michelin Guide investigators for Toronto when there is a worthy 3 star award Canadian winner right here in the Okanagan BC waiting to be crowned?

To read the full article with photos: The International Food & Wine Society

Wine Guy: Destined for Phantom Creek Estates

The Vancouver Sun – James Nevison – June 22, 2022

As the wine touring season kicks off, this is a definite destination winery in the South Okanagan

It’s good to have anchor points. Both literally and figuratively. Whether the North Star or a stable, go-to friend, these reference markers can provide confidence and direction. In wine, destination wineries are like anchor points. When Mission Hill Family Estate opened its landmark winery in 2002 it became a beacon for the Okanagan Valley. It was a defacto anchor point to base wine touring adventures around. Two decades later, as the wine touring season again kicks off, there is another destination winery in the South Okanagan: Black Sage Road’s Phantom Creek Estates.

Phantom Creek Estates 2019 Pinot Gris, British Columbia ($27.99, #58485)

What makes for a destination winery? Admittedly, it’s subjective. But providing a “wow factor” offers a good start, and there’s no denying the grandiose stature of Phantom Creek Estates. Fortunately, the wines in the bottle live up to the hype — marble sculptures, extravagantly elegant barrel room and VIP tasting room — and see the same level of attention to detail. Their Pinot Gris, for example, is fermented with Indigenous yeasts and rests 16 months in large-scale oak foudres, creating an amazingly layered nose of honeyed orchard fruit, flowers and subtle oak. It’s complex yet balanced and approachable, an elegant fish and seafood partner.

Bottom line: A, Contemplative patio sipper.

Phantom Creek Estates 2019 Petite Cuvée, British Columbia ($37.99, #457116)

After a couple of uncertain, pandemic-fuelled years, Phantom Creek Estates has truly returned to become a destination. This summer the winery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and its restaurant is currently offering lunch service Thursday to Monday. A number of tours and tastings are on offer (ranging from basic to extravagant) along with farmers’ markets and concerts throughout the summer. While there check out the Petite Cuvée, a gutsy red blend bringing together a myriad of grapes (Cabernet Franc is dominant at 42 per cent of the mix) in a bold and ripe, dark-fruited and savoury bottle crying out to be served with grilled ribeye or lamb — whether tonight or ideally in a few years.

Bottom line: B+, Bold, persistent red.

Phantom Creek Estates 2019 Becker Vineyard Cuvée No. 27, British Columbia ($60, available through the winery)

The first two wines are generally available at B.C. Liquor Stores, however Phantom Creek Estates offers a multitude of different bottles (another motivation to sip the wines in situ). Their Becker Vineyard Cuvée references the pioneering Becker Project, a late ’70s exploration led by Dr. Helmut Becker to determine the viability of growing quality wine grapes, vitis vinifera, in the Okanagan Valley. The Becker Vineyard is located on a higher-elevation stretch of the Black Sage Bench and is now planted to red varieties, represented in this cuvée by Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Carmenere, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s all dark fruit and dark chocolate, punchy yet elegant with some spice and toasty oak on a grippy, tannic finish.

Bottom line: A-, An anchor point red

To read the full article with photos: Vancouver Sun

Chef Alessa’s Signature Spice Rub Recipe

Dish:

Lamb skewers   

Recipe:

  • 16 ounces of Lamb sirloin or boneless lamb shoulder (cut into chunks)
  • 8 grams extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 grams phantom creek spice rub
  • 1 gram kosher salt
  • 1 gram ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Slice lamb into chunks, place in a dish and rub with 1 tablespoon oil. Mix kosher salt, ground black pepper, and phantom creek spice rub together and rub over meat. Cover and set aside for 4 hours in the fridge. Place 12 8-inch bamboo skewers in water.
  • Preheat grill to 350f. Drain the lamb, shaking off the excess marinade. Thread the lamb onto 4 long skewers, leaving a bit of room between the cubes. Brush the lamb with the oil and grill over high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 5 minutes for medium-rare meat.
  • Serve with your favorite side
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