Larry Foyt on the timing stand at Las Vegas - Anne Proffit photoEnlarge Photo
A couple of years ago, Larry Foyt premiered the Foyt Family Wines label while the IZOD IndyCar Series made its annual visit to Infineon Raceway Sears Point amid the wine-growing Sonoma and Napa valleys.
Using the skills of winemaker Tom Meadowcroft, Foyt Family Wines has produced a chardonnay, a Bordeaux-style meritage and, most recently, a reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
The intent of the No. 77 Cabernet Sauvignon just released was, originally, to celebrate the family patriarch, A.J. Foyt Jr, who won his fourth Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 1977; Foyt was the first of [now] three drivers to accomplish that difficult feat.
This new 2008 vintage wine received a 93-point rating during a pre-release tasting at Hess Vineyards.
Foyt Family Wines wanted to make a difference with its new, premium vintage of No. 77 Cabernet Sauvignon. for that reason, the company will donate $10 per bottle for every 2008-vintage No. 77 purchased online through the company's website: www.foytwines.com.
"We had planned to release our No. 77 wine the week after the tragic race at Las Vegas, but held off until now because of those circumstances," said Chris Perry, managing director of Foyt Family Wines.
"Larry and A.J. Foyt IV (son and grandson of A.J. Foyt Jr, respectively) wanted to do something to help Dan Wheldon's family, and the fact that Dan was driving a No. 77 car, we thought this would be a way to help out his young family and honor Dan - even though the wine is named after A.J.'s record-setting Indy victory," he said.
Dan Wheldon, a two-time Indy 500 winner who won this year's 100th anniversary race, drove the No. 77 Indy car at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway finale in mid-October. The 33-year-old left behind wife Susie and two young sons, for whom the trust fund was established.
This latest wine offering should not be confused with the Foyt Family Wines No. 77 Collector Series Reserve Cabernet 2007 vintage, released last year.
© 2011 Anne Proffit