Foxen Winery: Tasting Bordeaux, Contemplating Tattoos

Foxen Winery has been around since 1985 and produces a number of different wines from their own vineyards as well as purchased grapes.  The one vineyard they own is the only dry farmed vineyard in the region, meaning the grapes only get what nature provides them.  Usually struggling for water means more powerful wine at the cost of lower production.  Reminds me of Randall “Pink” Floyd from Dazed and Confused on the 50 yard line – “OTSS!  Only the strong survive!”

Foxen actually has two facilities with their new solar-powered winery and tasting room opening in 2009.  The two buildings are literally right down the road from each other 7200 vs 7600 Foxen Canyon Rd.  We opted for the shack since the group preferred Cab and Sauv Blanc.  Foxen actually has a combo taste; I think it’s 3 wines at each tasting room.

The Shack

While the 7 of us tasted Sauv Blanc, Cab, Cab Franc, Sangiovese, and two blends, our designated driver enjoyed Foxen’s goodie bag – Halloween candy, mints, and Foxen anchor temporary tattoos.  Oddly enough, our same group went to the country music festival Stagecoach last year where two of us got spray on tattoos.  No one opted for the anchor tattoo so I guess replacing beer, music, and hay bales with wine, tasting notes, and oak barrels makes a big difference.

Back Patio Tables

Our hostess Alison was awesome.  We wanted to bring her along for the rest of our afternoon.  The girls got into some crazy conversation about organic hair dye and we discovered Alison’s family is known for their grilled cheese expertise.  Overall the tasting was great.  While the tasting room was pretty small, we didn’t have trouble getting our next pour and hearing about its contents.

Our favorite was the Range 30 West, a 60/40 split of Merlot and Cab.  As we mentioned earlier, it takes a lot for us to notice a Merlot, and this one did a great job.  The tannins played a secondary role to powerful fruit flavors of cherry and raspberry.  At $35, it was just good enough to bring one home for a future dinner of roast chicken perhaps.  One other couple bought the Range 30 West while another opted for the Sangiovese/Merlot blend named Volpino.

On our way out, I walked by a curio that was full of Foxen memories (ie photos and tchotchkes) and noticed a photo from the movie Sideways. It was actually the license plate FOXNPNO (guessing Foxen Pinot) that got my attention that the same shot existed.  I couldn’t resist (see below).

Sideways vs. Real Life

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Santa Barbara, Sauvignon Blanc, USA

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