*Editors' Choice and #14 in Best 100 of 2016* From one of the preeminent Chardonnay producers in the country comes their least expensive yet perhaps most stunning bottling, showing strong lemon rind, sea salt, Gravenstein apple and a floral touch of honeysuckle on the nose. The wondrously zippy and saline palate is framed by a grippy, grapefruit-rind-led tension, but opens just enough to allow the slightest hints of lemon curd and delicate marzipan warmth. (MK)
Fogarty's 2013 Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains is delicate and beautifully layered in the glass. Sweet floral notes meld into apricot, yellow peach and chamomile. This is an especially understated Chardonnay from Fogarty, not to mention a gorgeous appellation-level Chardonnay and a real overachiever. The Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay is mostly Langley Hill and Damiana, with a touch of Portola Springs. Thomas Fogarty remains the single most exciting estate in the Santa Cruz Mountain people have likely never heard about. Then again, production levels are tiny. The wines have gone from strength to strength since I started following the estate a few years back. The Chardonnays are intense and phenolic in feel, while the Pinots present an intriguing combination of aromatics, fruit and mountain structure. In terms of aging, the Chardonnays follow a classic, Burgundian aging regime of about 15 months in barrel followed by 4 months in tank, with the exception of the Santa Cruz Mountains, which is bottled earlier, with about 12 months in barrel, to preserve freshness...Sadly, production of these already hard to find wines is down significantly in 2013. The drought conditions led to an early bud break, but then a week of cool, windy weather in May led to a poor set. Readers should do whatever they can to taste these fine, handcrafted wines from proprietor Tommy Fogarty and winemaker Nathan Kandler. (AG)
A killer value that's just about as good as the single vineyard releases, Fogarty's 2013 Chardonnay from the Santa Cruz Mountains offers terrific stone fruits, citrus blossom, mineral and hints of toast to go with a medium-bodied, rich, textured and layered feel on the palate. It has the standard acid profile of the estate, yet it still has plenty of richness. There's 1,200 cases of this beauty made, and given the quality, it's a steal at 36 bucks. An estate that deserves more attention in the market, Thomas Fogarty has been making single vineyard Pinot Noirs and Chardonnay (and some Bordeaux blends), from the Santa Cruz Mountains since 1981. Today, Tom Fogarty Jr. is in charge of the estate and Nathan Kandler makes the wines. The focus here is on their estate vineyards located mostly around the winery. These tiny plots (the smallest is just a quarter of an acre) lie between 1,600-2,300 feet in elevation and 10 miles from the Pacific. The farming is organic, most vineyards are dry farmed and yields come in at a tiny 1-3 tons per acre. While the wines lean towards the fresher, more vibrant end of the spectrum, they don’t come across as lean, and I think they have solid texture and depth of fruit. (JD)
This is a healthy, mountain-grown chardonnay, with a clear tone to its juicy, sun-ripened fruit. Its creamy chamomile and almond flavors meet an earthen zest in the end, the structure focusing the wine’s expansive richness. For scallops.
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