The second stop for the 12 Days of Cabernet Franc is the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Thomas Fogarty Winery has been a commercial venture since 1981. They have several of their own Estate vineyards, and also source some fruit from select, well regarded growers. What has struck me about the better, past wines I've had from this region, is that they have shared the specific commonality of having a noticeable purity of fruit about them. As simple as that may sound, there are certain wines where the fruit flavors glide through the palate in a manner that seems more natural and closer to their origin. When I popped the cork on the Thomas Fogarty Cabernet Franc, my hope was, that it would be of that ilk. The 2004 Thomas Fogarty Gist Ranch Cabernet Franc has 3% Cabernet Sauvignon blended in. The fruit was sourced entirely from the Gist Ranch Estate Vineyard, which is located 14 ½ miles away from the Winery itself. The wine was aged in 25% New Russian Oak. A mere 95 cases of this offering were bottled and the suggested retail price is $48.
Red and black plum, violets and blueberry notes fill an extremely effusive nose. Throughout the palate obvious mountain fruit characteristics are evident. Along with the plum and raspberry fruit, clove and black pepper notes emerge, and resonate through the finish. Abundant cherry, earth and a hint of licorice also surface in the lengthy and impressively long finish. I had this with a grilled steak and roasted potatoes, it was a terrific match.
There are two things that stood out to me most about this Cabernet Franc. First of all, it is one of those Santa Cruz Mountain Wines that displays an incredible core of pure, delicious fruit. Additionally, this is a serious Cab Franc, that while delicious now, will improve for 4-6 years and drink well for a couple after that. As stated above, only 95 cases of this wine were produced, if you're a hardcore Franc fan, go grab some!
Up Next: 11 More Days of Cabernet Franc!