Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Can't Act. Slightly Bald. Also Dances.

Some might think that the owners of Foxtrot knew me. But, then again, no. I think I can act - otherwise how would I have gotten the role of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady back in high school?!

Rather, the quote on the back label of our next bottle refers to casting notes taken for one Fred Astaire while auditioning for his first movie. But, more on that later.

This is the first Foxtrot wine to be added to The List; however, it might be the only wine that's been mentioned in this blog three or four times before I've even opened a bottle.

1020. 2007 Foxtrot Pinot Noir (Okanagan Valley)

This isn't the first bottle of Foxtrot Pinot Noir that Boo and I have enjoyed. We had a bottle once while dining out at Whistler before I started this blog. We were rather taken by the bottle back then and would have loved to make it a regular at our dinner table. There's just that little hurdle of a $50-$60 price tag.

The Foxtrot vineyard has been a source of quality fruit on the Naramata Bench for some years, having been planted with Pinot Noir in the mid 1990's. Back then, the grapes were being sold and, indeed, we just had a bottle of Kettle Valley Foxtrot Pinot Noir a week or two ago. The vineyard was purchased by the Allender family in 2002; however, they took a couple of years to learn more about the wine industry before they produced their first vintage in 2004.

Production was extremely limited during the initial vintages - less than 400 cases in 2004. However, it took no time for the wine to be noticed and christened one of BC's premium Pinot Noirs. The limited production and near cult-like status makes it pretty hard to find - even you'd like to pay the asking price. I bought this bottle at a silent auction at the Hot Chefs Cool Jazz fundraiser in 2010.

And I've been itching to open it ever since.

The 2007 may only be the fourth vintage from Foxtrot but its vaunted presence on the BC wine scene was further cemented when the wine was awarded one of only eleven Lieutenant Governor's Wine Awards in 2010. Not hard to understand why once we'd opened the bottle. The rich smoothness of the wine, bright nose and focused fruit meant that our bottle disappeared far too quickly.

As for the promise to return to the label and to Fred Astaire, the story goes that the vineyard was named "Foxtrot" back in the early years because, during one the first harvests, a black bear was found eating the grapes for a number of days running. The bear had a habit of standing on its hind legs and shuffling, almost as if he was dancing. The workers took to calling the bear "Fred" - after Astaire - and, with the "original" Fred being celebrated most for his unparalleled abilities in the foxtrot - the biggest dance of its day - a name was born. A dancing Fred, the bear, now graces both the label and the name of the wine.

Finding some more for a special occasion may need to become a bit of a priority.

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