Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Thomas Fogarty Winery 2000 Blanc de Blancs  (Santa Cruz Mountains)

Thomas Fogarty Winery

2000 Blanc de Blancs
(Santa Cruz Mountains)

Although this is an ideal climate to grow Chard and Pinot, sometimes the conditions are so extreme that the sugar levels never get north of 21°Brix - thumbs down for still wine versions of these two grapes. This would point to an even more ideal climate for making sparkling, yet few people deign to make it, mostly because it is the costliest grape-based beverage, and the return on investment is longer than most VCs would endure. In the back yard of the Sand Hill/Menlo Park Venture Vultures lies a particularly well-suited vineyard to sparkling wine.

At the tippy top of the estate Thomas Fogarty vineyard, there’s a particular section of Lyre-trained Chardonnay that sometimes gets ripe. Located in a cool swale in the shadow of an oak-shrouded hill, these vines look like they’d be more at home at Stonehenge. When you get lemons, well, you know what to do. Winemaker Michael Martella only makes sparkling in the coldest of years, and 2000 (Y2K) was a really chilly one: just perfect for sparkling. And, in celebration of the fact that we didn’t all croak off due to the vagaries of Y2K, he made a righteous sparkling for that most maligned and misinterpreted Millennium year.

What a dry, French-style sparkling this turned out to be. It’s brimming with brimstone and baked brioche, the very most you will get out of this style of sparkling in terms of flavour. This is a crisp, rich and nutty sparkling wine: the perfect representation of a complete excursion to Paris. It’s all about dodging the cars whizzing along crazy streets in the heartbeat of the city (nutty). Or strolling along beautiful tree-lined promenades, all calm and contemplative on one side (rich), yet wild and crazy-partying on the other (crisp…and nutty). This is a perfect reflection of the winemaker: restrained, without pretense, hinting at sweet, yet completely dry. All in all, a very satisfying and well-made Blanc de Blancs: consider it an immediate ROI, whereas for Fogarty, it will take years.

Reviewed May 27, 2008 by Laura Ness.

The Wine

Winery: Thomas Fogarty Winery
Vintage: 2000
Wine: Blanc de Blancs
Appellation: Santa Cruz Mountains
Grape: Chardonnay
Price: 750ml $32.00

Review Date: 5/27/2008

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.