VOLUME 9, ISSUE 24
May 5, 2013
ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE:
Cork Dork Etude: Inspired Wines of the Carneros the Gardener: Got Organic Grapes? Bravium: Relish the Acidity Rivers-Marie: 2010 & 2011 Reflect the Challenges of Farming on the Edge Dunstan Wines from Durell Vineyard Foursight Wines: Family Excels with Pinot COBB Wines: No Wine Before Its Time Sips of Pinot: Wines Tasted Recently Rosé and Chardonnay: Recently Sampled Wines Pinot Briefs
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.
Articles About Thomas Fogarty Winery
12th Annual World of Pinot Noir (9.4 3/21/2012)
2010 California Pinot Noir All-Americans Second Team (8.28 12/28/2010)
Along the Pinot Trail in California (8.45 11/1/2011)
Cruzin’ the Pinot Trail: Pinot Paradise in the Santa Cruz Mountains (9.23 4/13/2013)
Marin County Pinot Noir Celebration (6.32 7/16/2007)
On a High at Pinot Paradise Weekend (6.21 4/1/2007)
On the Pinot Event Trail (9.3 2/22/2012)
Prince’s Excellent Adventure at WOPN (6.56 3/23/2008)
Report From the Front Lines: 2011 Pinot Paradise (8.35 4/11/2011)
Small Sips of California Pinot (8.17 6/21/2010)
Tasting Santa Cruz Pinot Noirz (7.14 3/15/2009)
The 9th Annual World of Pinot Noir (7.16 4/18/2009)
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 wellintegrated acidity. Exceptional. Reviewed April 13, 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 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 »
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