Foxtrot Vineyards2004 Pinot Noir
With its first release, Foxtrot Vineyards is setting to become the Okanagan’s dedicated specialist in ultra-premium Pinot Noir from grapes grown in their 3.5-acre vineyard planted in the mid-1990s, entirely with Dijon clone 115. In 2002, the vineyard, a spectacular view property, was purchased by Swedish-born Torsten Allander, a consulting engineer, and his family who were moving from Vancouver to a country home.
Once they had mastered viticulture, the Allanders struck a deal with nearby Lake Breeze Vineyards to produce three vintages of Pinot Noir, starting with 2004, in order to assess Foxtrot’s potential. Along with their grapes, the Allanders contributed winery equipment and premium French barrels to the venture. Their son, Gustav, a science student and aspiring winemaker, mentored in the 2004 vintage with Lake Breeze winemaker Garron Elmes.
The Allanders are benchmarking Foxtrot’s Pinot Noir against leading examples from Oregon and France. Having concluded after three vintages that Foxtrot wines can measure up, they plan to apply for a winery license this year.
The grapes for the debut 2004 wine (390 cases) were cropped between 1.8 tons and 2 tons an acre, resulting in a rich and fleshy Pinot Noir. Classic Burgundian winemaking was employed; and the wine was aged 16 months in new oak (Alliers and Nevers). The wine was fined with egg whites but not filtered. The wine entices with aromas of berries and spice. On the palate, it shows flavours of black cherries enhanced with a note of spice from the oak. Delicious now, the wine has the structure to cellar well for another five years. 88 points.
Reviewed May 22, 2007 by John Schreiner.
John Schreiner has been covering the wines of British Columbia for the past 30 years and has written 10 books on the wines of Canada and BC. He has judged at major competitions and is currently a panel member for the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards of Excellence in Wine. Both as a judge and as a wine critic, he approaches each wine not to find fault, but to find excellence. That he now finds the latter more often than the former testifies to the dramatic improvement shown by BC winemaking in the past decade.