Follow The Prince
twitter icon rss icon

Thomas Fogarty Winery

Owner(s) Thomas Fogarty
Web site www.fogartywinery.com
 
Link to this site
Thomas Fogarty Winery

Winemaker Michael Martella met Dr. Thomas Fogarty in 1980 while working at a large winemaking facility in the Central Valley of California. A friend of a friend introduced them. Martella studied enology at California State University at Fresno. Fogarty had been a home winemaker for 10 years, beginning in 1969 when he arrived at Stanford, and purchased 325 acres of land in the early 1970s, planting three acres of vines on Skyline Drive in Woodside in 1978. He was the first to plant grapes on the region's Skyline Ridge. Fogarty and Martella drank some wine together, hit it off, and Martella has been there ever since. He helped Fogarty launch the winery in 1981, plan the construction of the winery and develop estate vineyards (now 40 acres), and emotionally he feels like the winery is his!

Two vineyards were planted to Pinot Noir in 1982 with heritage selection cuttings from David Bruce, probably Martini Pommard clone. The higher vineyard, at 2000 feet, was named Langley Hill and consisted of two acres, while the larger, less-elevated vineyard of four acres called Rapley Trail. The clones planted are not the ones Martella would choose today, but he has learned to work with the ones he has and takes advantage of the vines’ extended age.

The first vintage from the estate vineyards was in 1986. Initially the Fogarty style was full-bodied, with dark color, intense black cherry flavors, considerable structure and tannin, and were clumsy on release. Historically, the winery has produced either a Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir (with purchased fruit added to estate fruit) or an estate Pinot Noir. In special vintages, like 2003, the two vineyards were separated out, with three bottlings: Rapley Trail Vineyard, Langley Hill Vineyard, and an Estate blend of the two. Since the topography varies considerably within the Rapley Trail Vineyard, in some vintages specific block designate Rapley Trail Pinot Noirs are featured as well. Beginning in 2005, Martella sourced Dijon clone (115, 667) grapes from the Schultze Family Vineyard in Corralitos. These grapes produce a Pinot Noir with a different and silkier texture. He likes these clones and has blended them into his estate wines. In 2006, he will bottle the Dijon clones separately. Dijon clones 115 and 667 are also being added to the estate vineyards.

Currently, there are three estate Pinot Noir vineyards at about 2000 feet elevation totaling 10 acres: Windy Hill (2 acres), Razorback (2 acres) and Rapley Trail (6 acres). The Langley Hill Vineyard is now all Chardonnay. Damiana, Portola Springs and Albutom are also Chardonnay vineyards.

The winery also owns the 100-acre Gist Ranch located 17 miles south of the estate vineyards. It is on another ridge at 2300 feet elevation and being more inland than the estate vineyard, is warmer. 14 acres are planted to several varieties but not Pinot Noir.

Since 2004, another University of California at Fresno graduate, Nathan Kandler has shared the winemaking duties as associate winemaker.

The style has mellowed and the wines now show less extraction with improved tannin and fruit balance. The Pinot Noir lineup includes vineyard designates from Windy Hill Vineyard and Rapley Trail Vineyard and two block bottlings from Rapley Trail, "B" Block and "M" Block.

The tasting room is open from Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 AM to 5:30 PM. The setting has breathtaking with views of the entire Silicon Valley below. The site is popular for weddings and corporate events and a separate facility has been set aside for these activities. The wines are sold on the website.

Reviewed Wines

2011 Thomas Fogarty Razorback Vineyard Estate Grown Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

12.7% alc., 100 cases, $ pre-release. From a 2-acre vineyard planted in 1986 at 1400 feet elevation to Swan, 115, 667 and 777 clones. Soil is sandstone and shale. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of black raspberry, blueberry and tea leaf. Light on its feet and soft in the mouth, with delicate flavors of boysenberry, blueberry and pomegranate backed by an oak-driven tobacco and tar note. The tannins are nicely proportioned, an acidic tang is evident, and there is some finishing interest. Score: 89. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Thomas Fogarty Estate Grown Damiana Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

13.4% alc., pH 3.21, TA 0.76, 96 cases, $60. · Moderate golden straw color and clear in the glass. Delicate aromas of Gravenstein apple, white peach and modest toasty oak do not prepare one for the sensory onslaught to follow. Wow! Amazing attack of lemon, pear, and apple fruits with accents of honey, burnt caramel and cardamom spice. The most intensity of flavor of the four 2011 wines tasted and sporting a long, generous, and juicy, lemon-infused finish. A little less prominent acid themed minerality in this wine. Score: 92. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Thomas Fogarty Estate Grown Langley Hill Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

13.8% alc., pH 3.13, TA 0.87, 96 cases, $60. · Moderate golden straw color and clear in the glass. Highly aromatic, with bright aromas of croissant, roasted nuts, baked apple and lemon. Plenty of intensity showing lemon curd, baked pear, apple and almond flavors backed by a lively, but integrated, cut of acidity. Very smooth in the mouth with an incredibly bombastic finish that offers waves of lemony goodness returning for what seems like a minute. I have rarely met with a finish like this in Chardonnay. On top of that, the wine is very harmonious with just the right amount of contribution from oak. Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Thomas Fogarty Estate Grown Portola Springs Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

12.3% alc., pH 3.162, TA 0.80, 96 cases, $60. · Moderate golden straw color and clear in the glass. The nose is very bright and clean, with aromas of lemon pie filling, grilled pineapple, seasoned oak and ocean air. The most austere wine so the acid is more evident, but the wine is quite charming. Delicate flavors of citrus fruits and tart green apple have a hint of nutty brittle in the background. Tightly wound, becoming more appealing over time in the glass. This wine will reward cellaring for another few years. Score: 90. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Thomas Fogarty Rapley Trail Vineyard Estate Grown Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 122 cases, pH 3.41, TA 0.63, $65. From a 6-acre estate vineyard planted in 1983 at 1650 feet elevation. 20% Henry Ayrton's Block and 13% M Block. Soils are fractured shale. Swan clone. 30% whole cluster, spontaneous fermentation. Aged 18 months in 40% new French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Very lovely aromas leap from the glass filling the air with scents of cherry and rose petal. Wow! Deep cherry, black raspberry, black grape and spice flavors in a mid weight style with a complement of oak in the background. Very suave with more pop than the Razorback bottling, and offering good finishing intensity. I suspect this will improve further over time in the cellar but it is hard to resist now. Score: 93. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Thomas Fogarty Estate Grown Albutom Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

13.4% alc., pH 3.17, TA 0.80, 50 cases, $75. Yields 0.46 tons per acre. · Moderate golden straw color and clear in the glass. The nose is challenging to describe as there are many nuances that surface over time in the glass. Scents of pear, yuzu, dried herbs, white pepper and floral accents. A delicate, Chablis-style wine, with flavors of lemon and tart green apple, backed by bracing acidity which chases the saliva on the finish. An echo of lemon persists on the finish for several seconds. Best with acid-loving food like oysters. Score: 91. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Thomas Fogarty Rapley Trail Vineyard Henry Ayrton’s Block Estate Grown Santa CruzMountains Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., pH 3.37, TA 0.62, 50 cases, $80. From a 6-acre vineyard planted in 1981. Henry Ayrton's Block was formerly known as the B Block. Martini clone planted in well-drained, very shallow fractured shale soil. 30% whole cluster, spontaneous fermentation. Aged 18 months in once filled 3-year-old air-dried, tight-grained French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is reserved, offering delicate aromas of spiced berries. Delicious entry and exit featuring middleweight array of blue and black berries with a welcome accent of oak in the background. Not fully giving yet and definitely needs time in the cellar. The fruit really opened up and sang the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle and was the best wine of the three terrific wines from the Rapley Trail stable. Score: 96. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Thomas Fogarty Rapley Trail Vineyard M Block Estate Grown Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.58, 49 cases, $ $80. Martini clone. Yield 0.7 tons per acre. 33% whole cluster, spontaneous fermentation, aged 18 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Dark purple color in the glass. Deep, penetrating aromas of dark berry jam, black plum, dark purple rose petals and oak spice. On the palate there is real concentration without weight with flavors of dark red and black berries and black plums with a slight flowery note indicating some possible whole cluster. The mouth feel is velvety and the finish is seriously captivating. Impeccable balance. A special wine you can drink now but will age beautifully. Still great the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 95. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Thomas Fogarty Windy Hill Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 50 cases. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Welcoming nose with bright aromas of dark cherries and berries, spice, sandalwood and rose petals. Mid weight, sweet and sappy flavors of black raspberry and black cherry, caressed by tame, dry tannins. Very juicy with bright acidity and some finishing intensity. Outstanding. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Thomas Fogarty Windy Hills Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., $N/A ( sold out).A hilltop vineyard in the skyline sub-region at 2,000 feet that is cool and rocky. Soils are fractured sandstone. A challenging site for ripeness. Yields less than 1 ton per acre. Last bottling from original plantings which are Martini and Bruce selections. New plantings have closer spacing with a different orientation to reduce exposure to the brutal winds. 100% whole cluster, ambient yeast fermentation, aged in once-used French oak barrels. No sulfur added after malolactic fermentation. 50 cases. · Aromas of fresh purple grapes, cherries, sandalwood, spice and petrichor. Vibrant on the palate with dark berry, spice and grape flavors, clothed in fine-grain tannins with well-integrated acidity. Built for the long haul. Exceptional. Reviewed June 4, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards Windy Hill Vineyard Estate Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

A hilltop vineyard in the skyline sub-region at 2,000 feet that is cool and rocky. Soils are fractured sandstone. A challenging site for ripeness. Yields less than 1 ton per acre. Last bottling from original plantings which are Martini and Bruce selections. New plantings have closer spacing with a different orientation to reduce exposure to the brutal winds. 100% whole cluster, ambient yeast fermentation, aged in once-used French oak barrels. No sulfur added after malolactic fermentation. 50 cases. · Aromas of fresh purple grapes, spice and petrichor. Vibrant on the palate with dark berry, spice and grape flavors, clothed in fine-grain tannins with well-integrated acidity. Exceptional. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Thomas Fogarty Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.8, TA 0.57, 1,514 cases, $35. Aged 10 months in 20% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Brightly perfumed with aromas of cherries, spice, briar and tea. Tasty array of redder fruit flavors including ripe strawberry, black cherry and raspberry with a hint of curry spice. Refreshing with lively acidity and complimentary oak with mild dry tannins and a soft texture. A solid drinker. Good (+). Reviewed June 4, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Thomas Fogarty Rapley Trail Estate Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.80, TA 0.61, 261 cases, $55. No block bottlings in 2010 so all the best fruit from the “B” and “M” block are included. Aged 10 months in 40% new French oak and bottled unfiltered. · Moderate reddishpurple color in the glass. Great nose! Vibrant aromas of dark cherries, dark red berries and spice. Delicious core of black cherry, black currant, cola and anise flavors with an earthy and mineral-driven iron bent. Admirable balance and easy drinkability with considerable length on the fruit-packed finish. Impressive. Reviewed June 4, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Thomas Fogarty Albutom Vineyard Estate Grown Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

11.9% alc., pH 3.27, TA 0.73, <75 cases, $56. Released June 15, 2013. From a .25-acre plot, the smallest block of estate Chardonnay. Dry farmed on a very rocky site with loam over gravel and bedrock with fractured shale soils. This wine is typically recognized by its minerality and bright acidity. Aged 18 months in 100% new French oak barrels. · Light to medium golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Aromas of apples, peaches, buttered toast and petrichor. Clean, brisk and steely, characterized by mildly tart lemon and green apple flavors with very little oak evident. More hi-strung, bracing and reserved than the Langley Hill Chardonnay. Comparing this wine to the Langley Hill Vineyard Chardonnay is a great lesson in terroir. Score: 90. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Thomas Fogarty Langley Hill Vineyard Estate Grown Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

12.9% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.60, 95 cases, $56. The Langley Hill is the large plot of estate Chardonnay (5.25 acres). It occupies a steep hillside at 1925 feet elevation, and is a very cool site. Loam, sandstone, shale and marine deposits in the soil. Harvest was the latest in the nearly 30 year history of Thomas Fogarty, picking well into November. Whole-cluster pressed followed by a cool barrel fermentation. Aged 18 months in 100% new French oak barrels. · Light golden yellow and clear in the glass. I like oak with my Chardonnay and it adds just the right character in this wine. Aromas of grilled yellow peach, cashew butter, roasted almonds and ocean air. Delicious primary fruit flavors of peach, pear, and lemon, with secondary flavors of toasted brioche and honey, holding on with some persistence on the finish. Very clean and uplifting with palate cleansing acidity and a brisk, satisfying finish. One of the best Chardonnays I have tasted in recent memory. My wife also went ga-ga over this wine and some have tabbed her the “Queen of Chardonnay.” Score: 95. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 Thomas Fogarty Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.80, TA 0.55, 1,286 cases, $24. 66% estate vineyard, 34% four other Santa Cruz Mountains vineyards. 25-50% whole cluster, indigenous yeast fermentations. Aged 10 months in 33% new 3-year air-dried French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Modest fruity aromas of cherries, berries, red plums and yeasty brioche, picking up intensity over time in the glass. Tasty core of red and black berries and plum with a hint of leaf and herbs. Silky in the mouth with moderate dry, dusty tannins. A well-structured offering that aims to please. Good (+). Reviewed November 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Thomas Fogarty Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.80, 1,593 cases, $29. 50% estate vineyard and 50% six other Santa Cruz Mountain vineyards. · Shy but pleasant aromas of berries, Herbs de Provence, and the slightest oak and mint. Flavors veer to the red/blue fruit spectrum including strawberries, cranberries and blueberries with a hint of herbs in the background. Balancing t n ‘a. A solid wine that will perform well at the dinner table. Good. Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Thomas Fogarty Rapley Trail Vineyard Block B Estate Grown Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., <50 cases, $68. First B Block since 2004. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels and bottled unfiltered. · Very expressive aromas of wild berries, violets, brioche, graham and a hint of smoky oak. A delicious panoply of fruit flavors that really stick to your mouth. Dark red berries and strawberries in abundance with undertones of savory herbs and forest floor. Everything is proportioned and singing in harmony. This wine’s character supersedes the delicious fruit. Brilliantly crafted and flatout great. The impeccable balance predicts a long life ahead. Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards Windy Hill Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 100 cases, $45. This vineyard is perched on the top of the Fogarty Estate. Buffeted by wind, drenched in fog and with vines grown in very shallow soils. Aged 18 months in 66% new French oak. · A ripe tasting wine with a touch of raisin accenting the dark red fruits. Notable oak and underlying loamy earth and forest floor with prominent tannins that need to be shed. Still juvenile. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Thomas Fogarty Rapley Trail Vineyard Estate Grown Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 125 cases, $48. The first Rapley Trail Pinot Noir since 2004. Aged in 43% new French oak barrels for 18 months and was bottled unfiltered. · Opens slowly in the glass, revealing shy scents of berry compote and oak. Vivid, fresh fruit saturates the palate showing red and black cherries and berries with a lingering berry and citrus tang on the finish. Terrific finesse and very soft in the mouth. A well structured and harmonious wine that is entirely seductive, but needs time for the aromatics to catch up to the flavors. Very good (+) Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Thomas Fogarty Rapley Trail Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 125 cases, $48. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Great nose! Vibrant aromas of dark cherries, dark red berries and spice. Delicious core of black cherry, black currant, cola and anise flavors with an earthy and mineral-driven iron bent. Admirable balance and easy drinkability with considerable length on the fruit-packed finish. Impressive. Reviewed June 4, 2013 ARTICLE »

2007 Thomas Fogarty Rapley Trail Vineyard Block B Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., <50 cases, $68. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose unfolds beautifully over time in the glass to reveal aromas of chocolate cherry cake, leather hide, and cardamom spice. Vibrant flavors of dark cherries and dark red berries with complimentary hints of black licorice and Harissa. There is definitely a minerality component to this wine as it tastes of the soil. Good richness and well balanced supporting tannins. A complete wine of uncommon breeding. Reviewed June 4, 2013 ARTICLE »

2007 Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards Rapley Trail Estate “M” Block Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 75 cases, $68. The backbone of past Estate Reserve bottlings. Since 2002, two unique blocks of Rapley Trail Vineyard, B and M, although continuous, are distinct and bottled separately. · Gorgeous aromas of black raspberries, baking spice and violets. There is a plush core of berry fruit with a ridiculously long finish. Plenty of ripe, fine tannins create the framework for a long life ahead yet the whole package is approachable now. A stunning wine. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards Rapley Trail Block M Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $75. This winery pioneered cool climate grape growing in the Skyline sub-region of the Santa Cruz Mountains when, in 1978, Dr. Thomas Fogarty was the first to plant on Skyline Ridge, some 2,000 feet above sea level. · This is a superb wine in every way. I have now tasted it multiple times and have found it consistently great. The nose pulls you in with scents of ripe berry fruits, baking spice and roses. A juicy and delicious berry core saturates the palate and leaves a lasting impression. The tannins are fine-grained and the acidity spot on. Great bones here. Reviewed April 18, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Thomas Fogarty Winery Corda Vineyard Marin County Pinot Noir Barrel Sample

This winery was featured in detail in the PinotFile issue this year devoted to Pinot Paradise in the Santa Cruz Mountains. (Volume 6, Issue 21). · Reviewed July 16, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 Thomas Fogarty Santa Cruz Mountains Clones 667, 777 Pinot Noir

Shy and reticent aromatics. Redder fruits with cocoa and spice. More fruit-driven. Reviewed March 23, 2008 ARTICLE »

2004 Thomas Fogarty Rapley Trail Estate Martini Clone Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

Leads off smoky, woodsy, earthy. Very nice cherry and berry aromatic finish. Fine-grained tannins. Reviewed March 23, 2008 ARTICLE »

2004 Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards Rapley Trail Vineyard Estate Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

$50, was poured at Pinot Cruz. · This wine reminds me of the Pommard-driven West Block Pinot Noirs from Rochioli Vineyard and is my clear favorite from this winery. The fruit flavors are firm and full, long and complex, and the tannins are tame. The wine is ripe and juicy with vivid pinosity. Reviewed April 1, 2007 ARTICLE »