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Staff Favorites - Brian Fogarty

Brian Fogarty

Reviews

2015 Domaine Faiveley Mercurey 1er Cru "Clos des Myglands" (Monopole)
Review Date: 12-08-2017
The weather in southern Burgundy was exceptional in 2015, and the village of Mercurey in the Cote Chalonnaise produced rich, expressive fruit evocative of the most famous villages north in the Cote du Nuits. Faiveley is always a high quality producer and their Clos de Myglands is typically a good window into their more lofty offerings, but the 2015 is a stunner that will be open many times at my table this year (hopefully)! In recent years its been rare to taste the essence of true Burgundy at such an affordable entry point. Rich and earthy the nose greats you from the glass showing dark cherry, hints of cranberry and raspberry, forest floor and spice box. The confirming first sip is quite balanced and offers a mouth filling rush of muddled cherries, aged leather and tea. Drink it while it lasts...

2015 Capbern, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 12-08-2017
A good, go-to Bordeaux keeps us all happy. Chateau Capbern of St Estephe delivers in a bright, energetic profile bursting with fresh cherries, violets, spicy notes and a skosh of mineral in the background echoes. On the palate the cherries remain dominate, filling your mouth with a juicy, savory charisma accented with blackberry, bramble and dark toast on a well structured frame.

2015 Vasse Felix Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 12-07-2017
Vasse Felix’s Premier class of wines are known for their harmony and precision. The 2015 chardonnay is a reminder of how the cold influence of an ocean on the hilly coast of a western shore can provide consistently beautiful, balanced and refined wines. The vibrant lemon blossom and ripe white peach notes in the glass start a parade of an ever evolving nose that moves to jasmine and hints tight grained French oak. On the palate the summer peach holds on tight with a racy acidity refreshing the palate and revealing the citrus notes and savory finish.

2013 Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 12-07-2017
A well proportioned, serious wine from the far western edge of Australia, Vasse Felix's Premier Cab has been hand crafted to reflect their unique terroir for more than 35 years. On the nose you notice the harmony first; a balance in the sum of the parts that make up the bouquet. As you did deeper you find gentle blackberry and cassis fruit paired perfectly with herbs like mint, bay leaf and a loose pipe tobacco. On the palate a solid structure takes shape with ripe tannins holding a brambly blackberry pie that has a dried citrus twist and wafts of a tobacco and tea. Clearly 35 years of experience has allowed them to dial in a precision Margret River should be proud of.

2014 Escarpment "Kupe" Pinot Noir Martinborough
Review Date: 12-04-2017
“Complexity”, “texture”, and “structure” are stated goals of famed winemaker Larry McKenna for his Escarpment wines and “Kupe” is where he reached perfection on all three. Immediately out of the glass the wine draws you in with bold, dark cherry fruit notes that have an added depth of toasted quince zest which leave your eyebrows raised as you go back in for more. Blackberries and limestone greet you for round two and compel you for a confirming first sip. Balanced and mouth filling, the complexity of the nose is completed on the palate as the wine adds spicy echoes into the finish.

2014 Escarpment "Kiwa" Pinot Noir Martinborough
Review Date: 12-04-2017
Sitting on terraced land above the banks of the Huangarua River, the Cleland Vineyard is the rocky, well drained birthplace of the “Kiwa” Pinot Noir. The 2014 bottling is strikingly balanced starting with ripe black cherries, streaks of raspberry and an earthy, composted leaf terroir folded into the background. A long savory finish gives you pause as you anticipate the next sip.

2014 Escarpment "Te Rehua" Pinot Noir Martinborough
Review Date: 12-04-2017
Pinot Noir from the McCreanor vineyard famous for its deep, gravely subsoil; Te Rehua is a fruit forward wine that experienced 12 days of punch down and then matured gracefully in only 30% new French oak. Black cherries and an undercurrent of rocky mineral are braced with firm, mature tannins that helps the wine find its balanced expression in a long unctuous finish.

2014 Escarpment "Estate" Pinot Noir Martinborough
Review Date: 12-04-2017
Escarpment pours every ounce of passion they have into making wines at every level: hand plunging in open topped ferment followed by a gentle pressing ensures striking wines that compel you to dive deeper into the glass. A final kiss of French oak (25% new) for only 11 months finishes the wine to a master’s perfection. Dark rich fruit from the long hang time in 2014 is augmented by an earthy collage of mineral tones driven by the alluvial soils that speak clearly in this bottling. Ripe tannins define the structure in the long finish as you anticipate your next sip.

2015 Fiorenzo Nada Dolcetto d'Alba
Review Date: 11-30-2017
The true heights that the poor, overlooked Dolcetto grape can reach are found in this bottling. Black cherries, tar, leather, peppery spice box and an earth dried leaf quality are all found here in perfect balance. So many other Dolcettos are limp, watery strawberry juice with no soul. Fiorenzo Nada has redefined the benchmark for Piedmont’s 4th red grape; look out Barbera, Dolcetto is coming for you…
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2016 Di Giovanna Grillo Sicilia
Review Date: 11-30-2017
With 150 years of history producing many indigenous grapes of Sicily the Di Giovanna family excels in depicting the true local essence of Grillo. Organically farmed to pay respect to the culture and hardy island spirit, the wine remains bright and fresh with lemon drop highlights and a clean mineral note. Rich when it hits the palate, a full viscous mouth feel conjures lime zest on a chalky structure. This local style has been perfected over time and we are sure through many family dinners.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2016 Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc Wairau Valley Marlborough
Review Date: 11-30-2017
A sunny disposition without being too tropical and over the top, the 2016 Grove Mill SB is pleasant and a good quaffer by itself or with apps, salads, seafood or white meats. Ripe gooseberries and grassy tones on the nose lead to a pleasing follow through on the palate and you find a little lime and dill in the finish.
Price: Hidden View Price
BC 96 DC 96

2015 Laubarit Rouge, Bordeaux
Review Date: 11-29-2017
Warm blackberry pie with a thick crust rushes out of the glass to greet you and you smile. Strawberry high tones accent the nose as you go in for the first sip and are reminded of the beauty that good Merlot can offer. On the pallet the blackberries start a crescendo of fresh fruit, but the earthy notes of dusty bramble and forest floor bring you back to the sophistication of Bordeaux. The wine finishes clean with good structure and build a mean thirst for a second glass.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2015 Erik Banti "Carato" Toscana
Review Date: 11-28-2017
Deep, brooding and intense this is a powerful wine packed in to a modest price. Cherries and strawberries muddled with cranberry compote and dried plumb partner with baking spice and green tea to keep you thinking about this wine with every sniff. On the first sip you see the talent is not just in the fields growing expressive grapes, but the winemaker also knows how to corral all this flavor into a balanced package. This is certainly a bold wine but refined in its expression. Polished tannins bring it all together and you still have money in your wallet; well done!
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart

2016 Au Bon Climat/K&L Wine Merchants "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-28-2017
As bold and expressive as Jim Clendenen’s haircut (or lack thereof), this single vineyard bottling of the Bien Nacido plots in Santa Maria Valley leapt of the glass to tell an intricate story. Immediate expressions of ripe berry pie which started with clearly defines summer blueberry and warm blackberries soon developed streaks of bright raspberries and a sense of terroir with dusty loam accents. The legendary experience of the winemaker is apparent in the elegant mouth feel of your first sip which builds with good acidity as the blackberries takes center stage. A fresh, mixed berry taste replaces the darker notes that showed on the nose delivering a brighter, round glass that finishes long. White and black pepper hide in the corners but step into the light the longer you ruminate on this wine.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Franck Millet "Insolite" Sancerre
Review Date: 11-28-2017
Located just 2 hours south of Paris in the village of Bué, 3rd generation vigneron Franck Millet and his wife Betty cultivate 22 hectares of beautiful, rolling vineyards together with a focus on Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Their premium Sancerre bottling “Insolite” (translated unusual or uncommon) brings together the most expressive old vines Sauvignon Blanc from the Domaine growing on clay-limestone soil. In the glass the wine’s bouquet develops with yellow flowers and a bold expression of citrus cream. A firm vein of wet stone minerality is accented by notes of fresh field herbs like thyme, bee-balm and dried grasses. A refreshing wine on its own, yet not delicate at all and would love being paired with seafood, white meats or of course local goat cheese is classic; Chevre.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart