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Thomas Fogarty Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
  • WE93
13.7% ABV
  • WE94
  • RP91
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13.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2012 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir beautifully reflects this nearly perfect growing season. The clarity of this red fruited vintage is highly apparent in both the aromatics and mouth. Full of energy, the flavors and texture of this wine are unmistakably Santa Cruz Mountains in origin with cherry fruit highlighted by spice, mineral and green tea like accents. It shoud drink well over the mid term, 4-7 years at minimum.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
This mountaintop winery puts much effort in single-vineyard expressions, but this blend rivals even those, with nose-tingling aromas of concentrated hibiscus and pomegranate, plus dried sour cherries and graphite. Prominent herbs like oregano, thyme and dried sage mix with eucalyptus and menthol on the palate, where soft cranberry fruit serves as backbone. Editor's Choice
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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 to just above Monterey county. Elevation ranges from just 800 feet to upwards of 3000, and microclimates vary substantially depending on which side of the mountains the vineyards lay. Cool ocean winds and fog play an important role as well. This can be a challenging region in which to grow grapes, but it is well worth the effort. 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, and Merlot and Zinfandel also perform quite well. Santa Cruz Mountains wines are noted for their distinct minerality and balanced acidity. Often these wines can be aged for many years. Organic and sustainable vineyard practices are becoming increasingly common.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

PSLCFG005_2012 Item# 133078