WTN: Herdner Estate Foch 1999 - VQA - Ontario

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WTN: Herdner Estate Foch 1999 - VQA - Ontario

Postby Howie Hart » Sun Apr 30, 2006 12:00 am

I've been cellaring this wine since PaulB gave it to me during a get together last spring. I was looking for someting interesting tonight, so this what I opened. I had handled the bottle several times over the past year, but my first suprise was removing the capsule and discovering that it was a clear glass bottle. One can hardly see through it, but the color is typical inky dark red-black Foch. But it still has just a hint of purple on the edges, which indicates it could last several more years. The nose is cherry-cola with just hints of oak and cinammon. At 11% ABV its nicely balanced. Although not as full of tannins as a CS, it still fills the mouth nicely with good acidity and has a nice long finish. I haven't made a varietal Foch since '03 (my brother still has a bottle of it) and I never had the patience to let mine age for more than a year or two. An old friend who also makes Foch told its no good unless its at least 5 years old. I wouldn't say that they're bad young, but this 7 year old opened my eyes. Thanks Paul - I appreciated it!
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Re: WTN: Herdner Estate Foch 1999 - VQA - Ontario

Postby Paul B. » Sun Apr 30, 2006 10:35 am

Howie, great to read your note on this wine. I also enjoyed mine a great deal. Foch is a variety that I truly, truly believe makes some of Ontario's greatest red wines - year in, year out. I say this because even in the poorest of vintages Foch always comes through with lovely colour and good acid/tannin balance; this can't be said of Baco Noir in all circumstances.

Unfortunately there is a serious varietal recognition problem with Foch given all the hype surrounding climatically unsuitable grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot here: Lakeview Cellars put their final release of Foch on sale for $5.95 to clear it. The grape makes an excellent table wine that is densely pigmented, full of rustic flavours and is very ageable - yet all the marketing and publicity goes elsewhere. These decisions tend to be made by bean-counting marketing-guru types - yet they often do not do justice to the actual quality of the wine in the bottle: Lakeview's Foch was on of Ontario's best IMO - better than their Baco, which they continue to make.
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Re: WTN: Herdner Estate Foch 1999 - VQA - Ontario

Postby Howie Hart » Sun Apr 30, 2006 11:05 am

After I posted the note I started picking up cigar tobacco in the nose - nice. Its too bad I can't get Foch from my favorite grower any more, but in a few years I'll have my own Leon Millot. :P
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