2006 Thomas Fogarty Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)

SKU #1073638

93 points and a "Cellar Selection" designation from Wine Enthusiast: "Just terrific, a classic Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernet from this consistent producer. It's bone dry, fine in balancing acidity and very tannic, with a sandpapery, lockdown mouthfeel. Yet it's wonderfully rich in blackberries, currants, cassis and chocolate. This outstanding young Cabernet should easily develop beyond 2015." 92 points and a "Best Buy" from Wine and Spirits Magazine: "Winemakers Michael Martella and Nathan Kandler buy fruit for this wine from three vineyards, the blend predominantly cabernet sauvignon (79 percent) with smaller amounts of cabernet franc, malbec and merlot. The complexity of the wine is immediately apparent, as is the silky texture, but most of the flavor is hidden behind dark, coffee- scented tannin. As it opens in the glass, the fruit begins to layer strawberry and cranberry scents with darker bluefoot mushroom notes. There's generosity to the flavor that needs bottle age to reveal itself more fully. (627 cases)"

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Price: $19.99

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 By: Zachary Seymour |  Review Date: 10/8/2011 
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Perhaps some bottle to bottle variability here. No hint of the lock down tannins and minerality here, though were smooth. Mild acidity and a bit flabby actually. The flavor was brightest on initial opening with a bit of pepper and quickly faded to a simple leather-coffee flavor. Good but not great.

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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 (%): 14.5