THE ADVOCATE 223
VOL. 79 PART 2 MARCH 2021
ery that has been experimenting with grape varieties outside the norm for
British Columbia, especially with Italian and Spanish varieties. This version
is atypically huge for a Dolcetto, including its 14.5 per cent alcohol level. Fermented
and aged without oak in the traditional Italian style for Dolcetto, it
is black in the glass, and the nose and palate are all black fruit, including
plum, cherry and blackberry, mixed with notes of sweet vanilla but also bitter
cocoa powder. It finishes long. For food choices, it needs some spice to
liven all that weight, such as sausages, a meaty pizza, or a burger with a spicy
aioli. Look for it in BC VQA and other private wine stores, including the BC
Wine Information Centre, Swirl Wine Store and Marquis Wine Cellars.
Instead of going abroad, we finish by heading to eastern North America for
this unusual hybrid wine. Bred by grape-breeder François Baco following
the destruction Europe’s vineyards by the phylloxera louse, this eponymously
named hybrid is a cross between Folle Blanche and an unknown
member of the New World’s Vitis riparia family (that is largely immune to
phylloxera). It came to North America in the 1950s and can now be found
in both Canada and the United States. Since it benefits from cool growing
temperatures and is resistant to cold winters, it finds its home mostly in
Ontario and in states such as New York and Michigan. Before the 1988 grape
pullout in British Columbia, it was reasonably widely planted but now is
found in only a few vineyards, again in cooler areas. It was only ever a “blip”
on the European wine map, as it disappeared there once the vineyards were
replanted with their traditional Vitis vinifera varieties.
With a deep colour, Baco Noir has rustic aromas with notes of cherry and
smoke and flavours of mixed berries and plums, often with herbal notes.
Carefully made, it can be a pleasant, full-bodied wine for rich foods.
ANCIENT HILL BACO NOIR 2016
BC VQA Okanagan Valley #144212 $25.00 (approx.)
From the northern Kelowna area, one of the cooler wine areas in the central
Okanagan, the grapes are estate grown at the winery. This is a big wine,
with an intense dark colour and a nose showing black cherry, black plum,
ashy cigar box and pepper, with an overlay of sweet vanilla. That black fruit
continues on the palate along with bitter chocolate, some sour cherry and
more tobacco. It has a long, slightly bitter finish. This is another BBQ wine
with steak or burgers, or with ribs slaked in a rich sauce. Once again, it is
available at BC VQA and other private wine stores, Save-On-Foods or online
from the winery.