Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Thomas Fogarty Winery 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon  (Santa Cruz Mountains)

Thomas Fogarty Winery

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon
(Santa Cruz Mountains)

Cabernet Sauvignon in the Santa Cruz Mountains might seem a contradiction in terms - after all, this is a place we locals call “Pinot Paradise” - but in the right site, it can be quite splendid. Winemaker Michael Martella made Cabs from Napa fruit for many years until he discovered the very lovely Bordeaux fruit growing right under his nose in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He first got turned on to the big-boned Merlot that this region produces. Subsequently, he worked with Camel Hill Vineyards to produce the kind of Cab he sought. Then he planted the 14-acre Gist Vineyard off Skyline Blvd to mostly Bordeaux varietals in 1997. This site, at about 2k feet elevation, has sandy, porous soil, and a southern exposure.

The 2003 Cabernet is from the warmish-climate Camel Hill Vineyard above the Lexington Reservoir, and from Gist Vineyard, where things can get pretty ripe in a warm year. 2003, though, was not a particularly toasty vintage, and the season was decently long and moderate enough to produce solid Cab character. The nose on this is filled with attractive cassis, plums, and coriander, and the flavours stay right on that track, with lots of cherries, ripe plums and black pepper. The fresh fruitiness is balanced with an herbal dollop from the Cab Franc, and the finish is smooth, silky and tinged with licorice. Great with a nice lean London broil with lots of Worstershire. My favorite condiment!

Reviewed February 20, 2008 by Laura Ness.

The Wine

Winery: Thomas Fogarty Winery
Vintage: 2003
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Santa Cruz Mountains
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon (77%), Malbec (10%), Merlot (9%), Cabernet Franc (4%)
Price: 750ml $50.00

Review Date: 2/20/2008

The Reviewer

Laura Ness

A wine writer and wine judge for major publications and competitions around the country, Laura Ness likens wine to the experience of music. She is always looking for that ubiquitous marriage of rhythm, melody, and flawless execution. What is good music? You know it when you get lost in it. What is good wine? It is music in your mouth.