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Thomas Fogarty – A Classic California Pinot Noir

My first introduction to the world of wine was through a bottle of 1981 Ridge Montebello. Ever since then, I have been a huge fan of Santa Cruz Mountain wines. Recently, I tried another tasty wine from that very same coastal mountain range, Thomas Fogarty’s 2004 Santa Cruz Pinot Noir. Though a substantially different wine than the Ridge that started me on my oenophile journey, this wine gave me that same visceral experience.

Located just south of San Francisco, the Santa Cruz Mountains are flanked by the San Francisco Bay to the east and the cold Pacific Ocean to the west. These bodies of water make extreme microclimates which intensify with altitude. This altitude produces full bodied wines with deep, rich color and highlights the subtle textures and nuances of the Pinot Noir varietal.

We are not typically fans of huge, dark, rich Pinots because they tend to be fruit forward and too extracted without being balanced. But, this wine is the exception. It has fantastic finesse with gorgeous aromas of rose and cherry along with subtle smells of black pepper and spice. These intriguing aromatics lead to a well structured but elegant mouth-feel. Fine tannins and bright acidity are framed by flavors of dark cherry and rhubarb with just the right amount of earth and mushroom.

Only 240 cases of this special wine were made and it was a featured wine in Saveur Magazine in the April 2007 edition. Delight in it with salmon, chicken, lamb or duck. This wine is a pure delight.

Andrew Wellisch

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