2003 Thomas Fogarty Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $50)

SKU #1051689

93 point and a "Cellar Selection" from Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "To begin with, it’s a very fine, well-structured Cab, rich and vibrant in cassis and smoky oak flavors. It shows the deep integrity that the best Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernets possess. However, it’s quite tannic, which gives it a palate astringency. So, will it age? Odds are strongly in favor of it. Best 2009-2015." (7/1/2008) According to Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Nov/Dec 08: "($50) Ruby-red. Cherry, dark berries and tobacco on the nose. Spicy cherry and bitter chocolate flavors coat the palate... picking up dusty tannins along the way... there's plenty of fruit here, and zero rough edges." 1 Puff from the Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine: "10% Malbec; 9% Merlot; 4% Cabernet Franc. Attractive hints of root beer and creme brulee sweetness merge nicely with a fair bit of ripe-cherry fruit first in the nose and then again in the flavors of this rich, relatively full-bodied wine. Tannins kick in a bit early, but there is enough richness at work to keep this one in contention, and a few years in the cellar should make for a more polished package." Rarely do we find a wine aged and ready to drink at such a fantastic price. This cabernet is a beautifully balanced Santa Cruz Cabernet Sauvignon. Black and blue fruit with a just a touch of spice and chocolate. The wine is full bodied and the tannins have really softened. This wine overdelivers. (Mike Jordan, K&L Wine Merchants)

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 By: Neil Maiers-Wine Expedition |  Review Date: 11/8/2009 
...ahhh the Santa Cruz Mountains. One of my favorite appellations.. both to visit and to partake in it's wines. Some fantastic Pinots and Chardonnays up there and some darn good mountain-side Cabernet, like this one right here. It has a nice, dark, beautiful color, blackberries wrapped in licorice on the nose with a pinch of tobacco. Those blackberries are joined by blueberries and a subtle layer of chocolate n' tobacco on the palate. The tannins are having fun in my mouth, but there's a nice balance in this wine; the fruit holds its own and it has a nice, graceful finish. This would be a great paring with tri-tip or whatever your favorite steak may be. ...and you gotta love a wine that's on sale for half-off. Do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle of this Cab and plan on drinking it with a steak this weekend. You can watch our full tasting-notes webisode on this bottle at www.wineexpedition.com.

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Monterey/Carmel Valley

- These heavily planted regions on either side of the vast Salinas Valley account for much of the mass-produced, commercial wine sold in supermarkets nationwide. In the hills, however, and in sub-AVAs like Chalone and Santa Lucia Highlands, quality is much higher. Pinot noir and chardonnay look to be particularly promising.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.2