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Paul B.

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WTN: 2004 Thomas & Vaughan Baco Noir (Ontario VQA)

by Paul B. » Sat Aug 19, 2006 10:32 pm

Well, today I took a last-minute trip down to the Grimsby area in search of Concord growers who sell to the winemaking public. After all, the Concord harvest is probably no more than a month away, and I need to get my source of grapes for this year's homemade dry Concord wine. As I was down in the area, I stopped at a couple of wineries: Puddicombe Estate and Thomas & Vaughan - this last one being a winery that I have followed for over five years for their hybrid reds especially.

I don't consider 2004 a particularly strong year for reds in Ontario; the growing season was on the cool and wet side, and although it did improve towards harvest, I don't think it was a year for reds in our area. The whites, on the other hand, have been fantastic from '04, showing a crisp minerally texture and fantastic persistence on the palate. I have been most pleased with them so far.

<table border="0" align="left" valign="top"><tr><td><img src="http://members.allstream.net/~pabs/wine/2004TVBacoNoir.JPG" border="1" align="left"></td></tr></table><table border="0" align="right" valign="top"><tr><td><img src="http://members.allstream.net/~pabs/wine/TVbacoveraison2006.JPG" border="1" align="left"></td></tr></table>While I was at Thomas & Vaughan, I noticed the first row of grapevines just a few metres away from the parking area and couldn't resist taking a picture of the grapes, already going through veraison. I later asked at the tasting room, and just as I suspected, this was Baco Noir - the very same vines that two vintages earlier gave birth to the wine I bought on this day and am now tasting.

13% alc. Intensely saturated cherry-black hue with purplish/magenta highlights and a neon-violet meniscus - a very dark, saturated colour for such a mediocre vintage. Still, with red hybrids you get this excellent colour pretty much year in, year out. A bit of volatility shows on the nose - somewhat like certain rustic Barberas I've had - , but underneath it is the typical cherry/vanillin-oak profile of Ontario Baco. There are no torrefied aromas in this Baco, as expected from a light vintage. Some woody accents come through at this point. Intense redcurrant sourness on the palate - I think the vintage is really showing here. Not all Bacos have this sort of acidity, though the grape is very prone to showing it unless well managed. Sour and brisk on the mid-palate with hickory and violets towards the aft-palate, and fine-grained tannins kicking in. A very high-acid red from a lean vintage.

Personally, I can't wait to try the 2005s - that was a much better year for reds. So far, though, I haven't seen any at any winery.

A final note (i.e. a wee rant) on the plastic cork used on this wine. I don't like these closures the more time goes on. I don't know what it is, but reds just seem to taste worse when bottled under this kind of closure - I have had this same impression with myriad vinifera reds bottled under fake cork. I am at the point of saying "Gimme real cork or gimme screwcaps."
Last edited by Paul B. on Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: WTN: 2004 Thomas & Vaughan Baco Noir (Ontario VQA)

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Aug 20, 2006 2:45 am

A mention of Baco Noir on the forum is equal to the reaction of a Red-tailed Hawk over a field of gophers!! Gotta get me more of them so busyily buying up the `04 Henry of Pelham, icl. the Reserve. Thats the only choice out here!!
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Paul B.

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Re: WTN: 2004 Thomas & Vaughan Baco Noir (Ontario VQA)

by Paul B. » Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:17 pm

Bob, I guess it's a good thing that the Henry of Pelham does make it out there! Henry of Pelham has really done a great job marketing and popularizing Baco Noir in Ontario and beyond, and although I have had quite a few Bacos that I personally enjoyed more than H of P's, I always give them the credit for taking the Baco torch and holding it high - higher than anyone else when it comes to sticking behind the variety.
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