2008 L’ Imposteur Grenache Vin de pays d’Oc, France
When an opportunity comes along to make your own wine in one of the best wine regions of the world alongside someone you respect and trust – you do everything you can to take it.
So in ‘08 Foster found himself in the Rhone Valley at Domaine Pierre Gaillard.
France is notorious for enforcing appellation rules and regulations. Families own certain plots of land for generations as it passes from one member to another. An opportunity to get his hands on some grapes was a far-fetched dream come true. Permission granted – there were days that he felt a little like an imposter amongst the renowned and celebrated French winemakers.
With nervous energy Foster waited for vintage to come but it wasn’t looking good. Lack of sunshine, plenty of rain and even some hail meant that things weren’t looking ideal for his first attempt. A quick change of plans sent him down to Pierre’s second vineyard in Banyuls on the French coast near the Spanish border.
Foster found incredible 60+ year old bush vines on terraced “Cru” vineyards up to 600 meters above sea level – overlooking the Mediterranean ocean; Cambrian soil (just like Heathcote) intermixed with schist and perfect weather (unlike further North). Ideal growing conditions for Grenache made from very low yields of 15 – 18 Hectoliters per hectare.
The wine displays deep ruby/purple colour, gorgeously fragrant nose of famboise, kirsch and black raspberries with dried herbs de Provence. Dense and medium bodied – it offers sweet ripe black cherries, earth, scents of white pepper and cured meats, juicy with glycerin but round with no hard edges and velvet soft tannins.