Canada Day is approaching, and I wanted to try something that was totally Canadian. Made with the Marechal (mar-esh-shall fosh) Foch grape, this wine, or at least this bottle…was very Canadian.
A hybrid grape, originally from Alsace, it is designed to grow and ripen in the cold continental Canadian climate (even a little alliteration for you… ha!) Now, a hybrid is cross between two species…usually a vitis vinefera, and hardy “root stock” vine variety. (Usually vitis riparia or vitis rupestris as an example). These (and others) are used these days, but this particular grape might be a hybrid of a hybrid. Um…what? All this to say, its pedigree is really a bit of a mystery. What we DO know, is that it is cold hardy, resistant to fungal diseases, and ripens early. A perfect grape to grow here in Canada and a good grape to grow on Vancouver Island where it IS cool, and rains a lot! (just keep going west until you have to cross the water on a ferry…then you’ll be there! 🙂 )
And since I WAS on this island for a couple of days where it WAS cool and rainy, I bought this wine. I bought it strictly on the label, because it just looked so Canadian, and the play on words with the grape name kinda got me too. A couple of days later, I stopped in at the winery and got a chance to taste it. Now keep in mind, I didn’t even read the BACK of the bottle when I bought it. Just the front label (and let’s be honest, the price too ($14)). The Averill Creek Tasting Room Associate dared me to put my nose in the glass and tell her what I smelled….It’s the Foch Eh!!
Bubblegum! Quintessential Carbonic Maceration used here, the bright fuschia colour giving it away first, and the nose was Double Bubble for sure! Juicy raspberries, and cherry nibs in my mouth with HUGE mouth-watering acidity! Low in alcohol too, served slightly chilled, it’s just a totally fun wine to share with friends. I can hear you asking the questions: But what IS this Carbonic Maceration you speak of?
While conventional red wine is made by crushing the grapes and using the yeast to convert the sugars to alcohol, this is fermented as a whole berry in a carbon dioxide rich environment. Essentially, it is being fermented from the inside out. Some grapes at the bottom of the fermentation vessel will be crushed, therefore some tannins are being extracted, however, the finished wine will have very light tannins. Definately NOT made for long term ageing, but certainly cheap and cheerful! (And, I’m never opposed to cheap and cheerful!) It’s not a wine to be taken too seriously…because seriously? We Canadians are NEVER too serious!!
Happy Canada Day eh?