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Bill Hooper

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WTN: Alexis Bailly Vineyard Voyageur Hastings,Minnesota 2005

by Bill Hooper » Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:43 am

Nan Bailly wanted to make an "International" style Minnesota Wine and she triumphantly did just that. A blend of Frontenac, Marechal-Foch and Leon Millot -Aged in oak for 8 months. This is not just a "damn good Hybrid Blend", it's a good red wine. Blackberry, Johannisberg, and baking chocolate with just a touch of vanilla&cinnamon spice. The lack of "foxiness" is refreshing. I wouldn't balk at putting this up blind against many similiarly priced California reds and probably will. 13% alc., 450 cases produced, $17.99

Prost!
Bill
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Howie Hart

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Re: WTN: Alexis Bailly Vineyard Voyageur Hastings,Minnesota 2005

by Howie Hart » Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:40 am

Thanks for the post Bill. I have no experience with Frontenac, but have made wines from both Leon Millot and Foch, which are very similar. It would be very interesting to try this wine in about 5 years.
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Paul B.

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Re: WTN: Alexis Bailly Vineyard Voyageur Hastings,Minnesota 2005

by Paul B. » Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:12 am

Bill, a most excellent TN - thank you very much for it.

I have had an abiding interest in Frontenac ever since tasting my very first Minnesota varietal Frontenac at the Tour de France MoCool in 2001. I've periodically mentioned how I wish I knew who brought it then ... whoever it was, they must not have been a regular reader/contributor here because we never did find out after that. But it was an excellent, dark ruby-red wine redolent of pure cherry fruit; it had the classic diminutive tannins of a hybrid, and was tart and refreshing - a light, acid-defined red that's truly at home on the dinner table.

I wish we had all-around free trade in wine all across North America. It would be great to see more wines like this travelling to other markets, where they would have a chance to finally get more known.
Hybrid Wines Online:
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Paul B.

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Re: WTN: Alexis Bailly Vineyard Voyageur Hastings,Minnesota 2005

by Paul B. » Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:21 am

I should also add that Frontenac is a significant red-wine variety in the province of Quebec, where its winter hardiness is a notch or two above that of the standard hybrids like Foch and Dechaunac.
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Bill Hooper

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Re: WTN: Alexis Bailly Vineyard Voyageur Hastings,Minnesota 2005

by Bill Hooper » Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:05 pm

Alexis Bailly also bottles a straight Frontenac which I remember having very "zin-like" flavors. Although there's enough Foch and Millot to supply the Voyageur blend, Nan will no longer bottle these on their own. A few vinters here are excited about Frontenac, and It was developed at the University of Minnesota -I guess making it our official state Grape. I look forward to posting more notes as I drink more examples.


Prost!
-Bill

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