Alright, I have to admit that I have a been a member of the ‘Foch Club’ for a while. I first tried Quail’s old vines foch a while ago with the 2000 or 2001 vintages and they were great – they were big and tasty without the drying tannic feel that usually accompanies big red wines. The local wine store manager told me that the foches from Quail’s had a loyal following and that the few cases that they were given were usually snapped up quite quickly.
So I was a little more than excited when I first saw the new vintage of the foch arrive from Quail’s Gate recently. It has a complex nose – sage, tar, black liquorice and red cherries – quite complex and a refreshing change from some of the simpler wines that we had been tasting earlier that week. It wasn’t as complex on the palate but had a good combination of dark fruit, plums, tar and leather to make it interesting.
Medium acid and low tannins, which is par for the course when it comes to foch, means that this variety doesn’t really age all that well. I learned that one the hard way when my 2001 foch from Quail’s Gate sat for 5 years in my less-than-ideal condo cellar. When we opened it, the fruit had left the building and taken most of the furniture with it. It tasted like dirt, although good quality dirt. This foch-not-really-good-at-aging thing was confirmed that same year when, visiting some family in Toronto, they opened a bottle of a ’98 foch from the Niagara with similar results. I like earthy, rustic, old-world style wines as much as anyone, but I do like to have at least a hint of fruit to remind me that the liquid in the glass did come from a grape.
Anyways, back to the ’07 Quail’s Gate Old Vines Foch – it is still hands down the best in the Okanagan and the ones to which all other foches aspire. It should be widely available throughout BC in specialty and VQA stores. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Are you the newest member of the foch club?