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Thomas Fogarty Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2014

Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
  • W&S92
0% ABV
  • WE95
  • RP91
  • W&S91
  • WE92
  • W&S91
  • W&S94
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Bright, juicy and vivid with citrus and minerality. Classic Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Grown at Fogarty’s cool home estate in the northern Santa Cruz Mountains, as well as a second estate vineyard on a warmer ridge further south, this is so intense at first that it feels almost aggressive—a tight, burled-up core of salt, tart acidity and spicy alcohol. As it takes on air its graciousness unfurls, becoming rich and substantial, accented by aromas of white flowers and toasted nuts and finishing with a briny, lemon-rind brightness. Give it two or three years in the cellar, then open it for a fatty fish dish like salt-grilled salmon shioyaki.
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Thomas Fogarty

Thomas Fogarty

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Thomas Fogarty, Santa Cruz Mountains, California
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What began as a pastime is today the Thomas Fogarty Winery and Vineyard, one of the San Francisco Peninsula's most respected wineries. A Stanford Cardiovascular Surgeon and world-renowned inventor, Thomas Fogarty took up home winemaking in the early 1970's in a small cabin on the current winery site. He planted his first grapes in 1978, and in 1981 established a commercial winery in the historic grape growing region of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Twenty five acres of Burgundian-style varietals are planted on the 325 acre estate, focusing on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and small lots of Merlot and Sangiovese. The winery property, located directly west of Palo Alto and Stanford University, sits on Skyline Blvd. at a 2000 foot elevation. The long, cool growing season and excellent sun exposure provide an ideal climate for these grape varieties. Dr. Fogarty's vision is to produce high quality, character-filled wines which take full advantage of the unique soil and climate of this appellation.

Santa Cruz Mountains

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A rugged and topographically diverse cool-climate appellation with a rich history, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA stretches from Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco, to the northern border of Monterey County. Elevations range from 800 feet to upwards of 3,000 and microclimates vary substantially depending on which side of the mountains the vineyards lie; cool ocean winds and fog play an important role here. This can be a challenging region in which to grow grapes, but it is well worth the effort. Santa Cruz Mountains wines are noted for balanced acidity levels, often showing great aging potential. Wine has been made here since the 1800s, most notably from the legendary Ridge Vineyards, whose Monte Bello vineyard garners international admiration.

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the stars of this region, while Merlot and Zinfandel also perform quite well. Organic and sustainable vineyard practices are becoming increasingly common.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

HNYTFYCHY14C_2014 Item# 348399