Vincent in Brix town

21 October 2009
By Tom Mansell

Fulkerson Winery Vincent 2007

See what I did there?

See what I did there?

Appellation: Finger Lakes
Grape: Vincent
ABV: 12%
Price Point: $10
Closure: Molded synthetic

Technical Notes: Eight months in older French oak and American oak, one of 3 varietal Vincents in the U.S.

Hedonic Notes: This wine is seriously purple, anthocyanin city. Gingerbread, with a huge smoky clove component on the nose. Fruit in the background, with something sulfury (in a good way). It almost smells like mulled wine. I’m at the annual New Philly Christmas party, held at the mayor’s house after the tree-lighting ceremony. (Pretty much the whole town shows up.) On the palate, it’s like black cherry ice cream, with vanilla and almost cooked fruit and full {mouthfeel}. Alcohol and acid are both big, but nicely {balanced}. A tiny bit of {astringency} that I mostly feel on my tongue as the medium-short finish dissipated with tart, red fruit. Well-balanced and well made.

Rating: corkcorkcorkhalfcorknocork 3.5 out of 5 corks for a hybrid that exceeds expectations.

I like their decision to use some oak on this. The clove character very likely comes from the toasted oak (lignin degradation product) and complements the wine very well. If you are a hybrid-hater, then you should try this wine. It won’t pucker your mouth, but its powerful color, fruit, and body may surprise you. Did I mention it’s only $10? Find me a California Cabernet or Aussie Shiraz with this much character for $10, please! No MegaPurple here, folks, this is the real deal.

Science! Grape Profile: Vincent
Developed at the Horticultural Research Institute in Ontario (now part of the University of Guelph, what seems to be the Cornell of Canada) in 1967. Lomanto x Chelois, a French hybrid. Bred to be cold-hardy, this grape is only 20% labrusca and (at least in this case) produces little to no labrusca foxiness (not that foxy is entirely a bad thing). It’s often used in the Finger Lakes as a blender (it’s certainly got color to spare!) but the quality of this {varietal} wine indicates that either (1) Fulkerson’s team are experts at growing and vinifying this grape or (2) this grape’s potential has been seriously overlooked. Or maybe a bit of both.

Oh, the dentist is going to be mad about this one.

Oh, the dentist is going to be mad about this one.

Vincent has one of the highest anthocyanin levels around. When I say anthocyanin, I mean the various compounds (malvidin is a good example) that determine the color of red wines. Vincent has been clocked at up to 439 mg/100 g fresh weight. For comparison, the relatively light Pinot comes in around 33 mg/100 gfw
(Boss and Davies, “Molecular Biology Of Anthocyanin Accumulation In Grape Berries” in Grapevine Molecular Physiology & Biotechnology, Springer Netherlands, 2009). Compare to blackberries at 528 mg/100 gfw (Wang, “Antioxidant capacity and phenolic content of berry fruits as affected by genotype, preharvest conditions, maturity, and postharvest handling” in Berry fruit: Value-added products for health promotion, CRC, 2007) Seriously colored.

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One Response to Vincent in Brix town

  1. [...] Vincent in Brix town « Ithacork: Wine and Science in the Finger Lakes ithacork.wordpress.com/2009/10/21/fulkerson-winery-vincent-2007 – view page – cached Technical Notes: Eight months in older French oak and American oak, one of 3 varietal Vincents in the U.S. — From the page [...]

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