Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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foxy, usually deeply pejorative tasting term for the peculiar flavour of many wines, particularly red wines, made from american vines and american hybrids, vine varieties developed from both American and European species of the vitis genus, particularly Vitis labrusca. (Wines made from many other hybrids—seyval and norton, for example—are completely free of foxiness.) The concord grape, widely planted in new york State, is one of the most heavily scented, reeking of something closer to animal fur than fruit, flowers, or any other aroma associated with fine wine, although the ‘candy’-like aroma is, incidentally, quite close to that of the tiny wild strawberry or fraise des bois. Ortho-amino-acetophenone is the compound chiefly responsible for this aroma in niagara grapes while methyl anthranilate does the job in Concords. Earlier harvesting or long cask ageing reduces some of Concord’s foxy characteristics.