*Editors' Choice* Though not one of the producer's single-vineyard bottlings, this estate blend manages to stun the nose and palate nonetheless. Tart mulberry, Kalamata olive, hibiscus, rose hips, red plum and sandalwood aromas wrestle attention immediately, then the sip delivers bergamot, cedar ash, exotic cranberry and rosemary depth. It delivers an excellent combination of wood, fruit and herb. (MK)
A killer value, there’s roughly 4,000 cases of the 2013 Pinot Noir from the Santa Cruz Mountains, and it saw 33% whole clusters and 11 months in 20% new French oak. Coming mostly from purchased fruit from a number of sites, it has lots of whole cluster notes of pepper, violets and spice to go with upfront, lively notes of black cherries and black raspberry. Medium-bodied, elegant and already delicious, drink it over the coming 4-5 years. 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)
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