Finally - someone is making a Marechal Joffre varietal. Jost Vineyard in Nova Scotia has been using Marechal Joffre in their red wine blends for decades but in 2010 they kept some of the grapes aside and produced a wonderful red Joffre varietal.
This wine has the character and similarities that one finds in the other more well known Kulhman varieties that came from the same cross - Leon Millot, Lucy Kuhlman, Marechal Foch. It is dark red, but not inky dark like the way Foch and Lucy Kuhlman can be, more like Millot, perhaps even lighter. Dark fruit aromas abound with the most notable being plum and black currant - showing its strong similarity to its simblings. Taste is also typical of the other Kuhlman's, with rasberry and cherry the stand-outs although a little less cherry than what I am accustom to in a Millot and over-all less powerful flavours.
This is a very likeable wine, and really reminds me of a Lucy Kuhlman-Leon Millot blend, with none of the herbacousness that I've found in Lucy Kuhlman varietals. This Jost release recently won a bronze medal at the 2011 Atlantic Canadian Wine Awards and obviously has the ability to stand on its own as a varietal.
Would be nice to see other wineries rethink the notion of blending this variety away. It can enhance or fortify a variety with less colour or one that has struggled in cooler years to achieve complete maturity. In addition it ripens about 2 weeks earlier than Foch, yet has about the same disease resitance and cold hardy properties (see link to Marechal Joffre Grape). For these reasons it is a great variety for the cooler short season locations.