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Thomas Fogarty Current Releases

Ruth and I have selected Thomas Fogarty winery as our wedding location next year, and today I went up to drop off some paperwork and start thinking about the wines I'd like to serve at the reception. Here's a rundown of what they were pouring at their tasting room this week.

All the wines are made by winemaker Michael Martella, and most are estate fruit from their lovely winery site above Woodside, CA on Skyline Boulevard.

1997 Blanc de Blancs Santa Cruz Moutains Sparkling Wine
Light pale gold in the glass this bubbly has a nose of sultanas and sweet oak. On the tongue the bubbles are nice and small with flavors of toasted oak, nectarines, and plantains, with a finish of grapfruit and citrus zest. A little heavy on the oak and a little too dry for me, but I'm a poor judge of sparkling wines, as I favor Prosecco over all other varitals. Price: $30. Score: 7.

2001 Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay
The color of pale straw, this wine has a lovely floral nose with scents of tropical fruits like mango and papaya. On the tongue it has a nice acidity balanced with flavors of butterscotch, butter cream and lychee, with a nice finish that has elements of citrus zest. This wine comes from 20 acres of estate fruit. Price: $23. Score: 8.5.

2002 Monterey Chardonnay
Pale gold in the glass, the nose of this wine is crammed with aromas of roses, peaches, and fuji apples. On the tongue the heavy malolactic fermentation shows through with a little too much emphasis, as the flavors of buttercream and caramel give way to an oak plank bitterness in the finish. Only 1500 cases made. Price: $25. Score: 8.

2000 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
Perfectly garnet in the glass, this wine fills the nose with plum, cherry, and chocolate aromas and continues on the palate with plush rasberry and cherry notes dusted with tannins. Made from 90% estate fruit. Price: $23. Score: 8/8.5.

2001 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Reserve Pinot Noir
This wine has a classic beryl red color and smells of cherry, rasberry, earth and leather. In the mouth it has a nice acidty with plum, cherry, and sweet oak flavors and a long finish. Price: $45. Score: 8.5/9.

2000 Santa Cruz Mountains Sangiovese
Garnet in color (aging well) this wine has a surprisingly floral nose for a Sangiovese with notes of spring flowers along with the classis black cherry, smoke, and raisin aromas typical for the varietal. In the mouth it's a little flat unfortunately. The tannins are nice and the cherry fruit is present, but it is not a dynamic juicy wine in the way it could be. This bottle had been open for almost 24 hours, so it's not a question of needing to breathe. I think I'll wait for the 2001, however it will be Monterey fruit, rather than Santa Cruz Mountains. Price: $20 (currently 25% off a case at the winery). Score: 7.5/8.

2000 Santa Cruz Mountain Merlot
Garnet in color, this wine shows a big nose of plum, chocolate, blackberry, and a hint of stemmy greeness in the nose, but not so much as to unbalance the wine. In the mouth it is nice and round with flavors of plum and blackberry with very well integrated tannins. It's very easy to drink, and one of the few Santa Cruz Mountain Merlots I have tried that I actually like. Only 600 Cases produced. Price: $30. Score: 8.5.

1998 Santa Crus Mountains Cabernet
Blood red in the glass this wine has a nose of heavy blackberry and cassis, with a rather tight body of green vegetables, aggressive oak, and unripe cherries. I was not a big fan of this wine, even though it was a "library" selection that they were pouring. Only 2 bottles left for sale at the winery. Price: $50. Score: 7.

2000 Napa Valley Cabernet
Looks like a good Napa Cab should -- bright ruby in the glass with a nose of black cherries. In the mouth the wine is heavy with cherry and dark chocolate with notes of sawdust. The finish is a little discontinuous, with the oak flavors a bit distinct and the tannins not well integrated into the body of the wine. Still, a solid Cabernet that will be great with red meats. Price: $50. Score: 8/8.5.

The tasting room was also pouring the Michael Martella Hammer Syrah, which I have already reviewed elsewhere, as well as their 2002 Gewerztraminer, which I also have an in-depth review of here.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud