Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Thomas Fogarty Winery 2003 Cabernet Franc, Camel Hill Vineyard (Santa Cruz Mountains)

Thomas Fogarty Winery

2003 Cabernet Franc, Camel Hill Vineyard
(Santa Cruz Mountains)

To me, Cabernet Franc can be the most wildly aromatic, enticing and appealing of the Bordeaux varietals. It tends to throw open its cloak or perhaps its cape, revealing volumes of alluring, floral and herbal perfume, commingled with bright red fruits. It’s rarely obtuse or oblique, rarely a tannin monster, and rarely big and phat. No, instead, Cabernet Franc tends towards the ballerina rather than the opera singer, more elegant than gregarious, more taut than titanic. Winemaker Michael Martella has come to fall in love with Cabernet Franc, especially from the Santa Cruz Mountains, and most especially from this special vineyard planted about 15 years ago at 800 feet above the Lexington Reservoir outside Los Gatos. Camel Hill Vineyard is owned and farmed by John Andersen, who has pretty much the whole stash of Bordeaux varietals here on this hilly, nicely sun-kissed site.

This Cabernet Franc really reflects its cool mountain terroir: it’s like a mountain lion in its intensity and its sleekness, and also in its hauntingly mysterious stealth on the palate. Unlike a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot from the same vineyard that might take over your mouth immediately upon entry, this one winds itself slowly around your tongue. The bright raspberry fruit mates nicely with flavours of gingerbread, coffee and toffee. The texture is beautiful with lovely, integrated tannins, and the finish is long, and filled with pine tar and currants. A very well made and delicious wine.

Reviewed February 20, 2008 by Laura Ness.

The Wine

Winery: Thomas Fogarty Winery
Vineyard: Camel Hill Vineyard
Vintage: 2003
Wine: Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Santa Cruz Mountains
Grape: Cabernet Franc
Price: 750ml $48.00

Review Date: 2/20/2008

The Reviewer

Laura Ness

A wine writer and wine judge for major publications and competitions around the country, Laura Ness likens wine to the experience of music. She is always looking for that ubiquitous marriage of rhythm, melody, and flawless execution. What is good music? You know it when you get lost in it. What is good wine? It is music in your mouth.