Saturday, June 30, 2012

Foxtrot Vineyards will appear at Taste Victoria

Taste Victoria’s 2012 Festival of Food and Wine has landed a big Okanagan fish for its trade and consumer wine tastings on July 19.

Torsten Allander, the co-proprietor of Foxtrot Vineyards on the Naramata Bench, will be at the Crystal Garden venue to pour three of his highly-regarded wines.

Because Foxtrot is a small producer, the principals rarely show up at such public tastings where consumers can sample the wines. In fact, the winery does not even have a public tasting room (although one can ask for an appointment).

This is a remarkable opportunity for those attending this event in Victoria to taste wines that have earned a justifiable cult following.

Torsten plans to pour three wines: Foxtrot Coolshanagh Vineyard Chardonnay 2010; Foxtrot Pinot Noir 2009; and Foxtrot Erickson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008. All are available to purchase, by the case, from the winery’s web site.

I have tasted both of the reds. When you read my notes, you will know why you need to buy a ticket for Taste Victoria – and not just for Foxtrot’s three wines. There will be at least 100 other British Columbia wines in the tasting, along with food from top Victoria restaurants.

Foxtrot opened in 2007, but its Pinot Noir already had a following. Beginning with the 2004 vintage, several Foxtrot Pinot Noirs were made at nearby Lake Breeze Vineyards. That gave Torsten the opportunity to decide whether his postage-stamp vineyard could grow world-class Pinot Noir, and whether he could sell those wines. By the third vintage, the answer was “yes” on both counts and Foxtrot built its own winery.

This is now a family operation. Torsten and his wife, Kicki, have now been joined by their winemaker son, Gustav.

As well, Gustav and his wife, Nadine, a winemaker at Poplar Grove Estate Winery, also have their own label, Wapiti Cellars, and have released a Viognier under that label.

Here are my notes on the Pinot Noirs.

Foxtrot Erickson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008 ($45.95). The grapes for this wine come from a vineyard not far north of the Foxtrot vineyard. Perhaps because of differing viticultural practices, the wine is a little lighter than the estate Pinot Noir from Foxtrot, but still quite elegant. It has appealing aromas of strawberries and cherries which carry through to the flavours, along with a hint of toastiness, spice and mocha. The texture is silky. 90.

Foxtrot Pinot Noir 2009 ($54.95). The wine announces itself with dramatic aromas of cherry, spice, mocha and French oak. The wine is rich and fleshy on the palate, delivering flavours of cherry, strawberry and spice with a sultry elegance. If ever there is a wine to elope with, this is it. 95.

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