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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Santa Cruz Mountains Uncorked: 2011 Thomas Fogarty, SCM, Pinot Noir

“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”  Ernest Hemingway

What can be taken away from this quote by [arguably] one the twentieth century's most influential novelist? I think his message was clear, but here's my impression or take-away. The beauty and depth residing in great glass of wine, at the right time can be like a fresh breeze to the dreary beat of everyday life or hearing a fresh new lyric which gets your toes a tapping, putting a soul loving smile on your face. 

Many folks would argue that it was a combination of beer and wine, which saved civilization from sure doom, before other ways of keeping water sanitized was introduced. So yes indeed I would have to say I heartily concur with Mr. Hemingway, wine is one of the most civilized things in the world. 
"Our 2011 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir beautifully reflects this cold and challenging vintage"
In today's spotlight is the Thomas Fogarty, 2011 Pinot Noir, a wine not current in release, but definitely something to look forward to when it does. I popped the cork on this beauty a few nights ago via #winechat and finished it the bottle the second day thanks to my vacu-vin and still the wine was just as vibrant as the day I opened it for #winechat.
"We age our Pinot Noir in 3 year air dried French Oak, primarily from the center of France and Chatillon,"
Again, another rock-star of the 2011 harvest you should have on your drinking list this year. As soon as you pop the cork, without any decanting or any other fuss this wine is ready to rock. I pulled it out of the cellar at 57 degrees and by the time it warmed to 64-65 it was on full tilt. 

"What really sets 2011 apart was the incredibly low yields, the smallest ever in most vineyards."
On the nose a wonderful perfume [elegant] of dried strawberries, rich earth, raspberry and pronounced cola aromas. After the first splash down, I found this immediately appealing and approachable wine. You’ll find very generous, round tannins, nicely woven into the wines fabric. A real Pinot Noir lovers wine; soft but lush, presenting a raft of baking spices, cinnamon and sandalwood flavors, with a healthy splash of raspberry cola and strawberry pie filling leading to the plush finish. 

I found the acidity to be bright and crisp, and refreshing gently carrying abundant but nicely textured fruit. A complex wine, which I believe over delivers for the the price point. If this wine will be your first [as it was for me] experience with Thomas Fogarty or the wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains, a bottle of their Pinot Noir will indeed be a great introduction. 

This wine clocked in with a reasonable 12.9% ABV, grown at [various] elevations of 400-2400 feet in Shale and Sandstone soils and aged just 10 months in 3rd year French oak barrels. When you see the bottle, [see above] you may be a bit surprised to find it's sporting its throwback label from 1981 to celebrate their 30th anniversary. This vintage is reportedly going to sell for $36 in the tasting room and, of course wine club members will have first dibs. 

As for my score, that is if you keep score? Some folks get real squeamish about the whole "score" thing, but for those of you who'd like to know the score, I gave this wine 93 points. This is a wine which has earned my highly coveted, "drink now and drink often" designation.

So to the entire team at Thomas Fogarty, I say to you all "bravo-bravo" this wine is a real winner.  Until next time folks as always please remember, life is short [so don't settle for commodity wines] so please continue to sip long and prosper cheers!

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