Wines produced from a Franco-Canadian joint venture are to be released this month.
Five years ago Vincor, Canada’s largest winery, entered into a joint venture with the giant Bordeaux shipper, Groupe Taillan, to create a wine in the southern Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. Together they planted a 60-acre vineyard with all five Bordeaux red varieties.
The fruit of their labour will be launched this month at a series of events in New York, London and Paris as well as in key Canadian cities.
The wine of the 2001 vintage is branded Osoyoos Larose, a combination of the vineyard location (Osoyoos, a semi-desert area just north of the Canada-US border) and Château Gruaud Larose (one of the Bordeaux properties owned by Groupe Taillan).
The vines, comprising a variety of carefully chosen rootstock and clone combinations, were prepared at the Mercier nursery in Bordeaux and shipped over to Canada to be planted by hand. The trellising system was selected to allow for superior canopy management and to promote good air movement and maximum sun exposure. The vines were planted much closer together than is usually found in Canada, in order to produce a lower yield and more concentrated fruit quality.
French oenology experts Michel Rolland and Alain Sutre consulted on the project and the wine was made by Pascal Madevon, a Bordelais. A blend of 66 per cent Merlot, 25 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and 9 per cent Cabernet Franc was aged in one- and two-year-old French barrels for sixteen months. Tasted from the barrel, the wine reminded tasters of St. Emilion.
A total of 2,200 cases were produced. The wine will cost $35 in Canada, $35 in the US, £20 in the UK and €30 in Europe.
Written by Tony Aspler