Wednesday, October 12, 2011

2009 Malivoire "Albert's Honour" Old Vines Foch (Ontario VQA)

A long-time favourite of mine, since its initial release in the 1998 vintage.

Vineyard established in 1975. Solid, high-quality natural cork closure. 12.5% alc./vol.

Intense, saturated black/cherry-red hue, with a ruby/magenta meniscus. Beautiful, nearly viscous appearance in the glass; the dark colour and light-purple legs make for great visuals. Expansive bramble-type fruit, framed by tightly-wound oak spice; secondary hints of its V. riparia parentage, via myriad brackish/wild/marshy/celeriac aromas. Plummy replays. Tart entry, with lively acidity, a firm but light structure, and good warmth on the finish. Flavours carry through onto the mid-palate. Cleansing, tasty, bright-on-the-palate, dark-coloured red wine.

If you must compare this to something from the vinifera world, think northern Italy: e.g. a laser-crisp Barbera, but with a much darker colour.

As usual, give it some time in the open bottle before drinking - or better yet, decant it: the bouquet will open up very nicely.

2009 was not a notable vintage in Ontario; it was actually quite a weak vintage. But I love trying red hybrid wines from such years, because I get to see what grapes that fit the climate can produce under less than favourable conditions. I'm already looking forward to trying the 2010 version of this classic Ontarian red.


  1. Of course the sneaky thing about this, and HoP's baco is that they have significant %s of vinifera blended in to add 'stuffing'....

  2. I'm aware that the '98 vintage was 8% Cab Franc. In later years, I think they used Gamay, if I'm not mistaken... But the latest ones don't state what, if anything, they blend in.

    Personally, I prefer just plain Foch, and take it for what it is. But there are other new-generation hybrids, such as Noiret and Marquette, that already have significant tannins of their own. Frankly, I would love to see more Ontario wineries considering these varieties.