2003 THOMAS FOGARTY WINERY
Cabernet Franc, Camel Hill Vineyard
(Santa Cruz Mountains)
Appellation America - San Francisco, CA
February 2nd, 2008
To me, Cabernet Franc can be the most wildly aromatic, enticing and appealing of the Bordeaux varietals. It tends to throw open its cloak or perhaps its cape, revealing volumes of alluring, floral and herbal perfume, commingled with bright red fruits. It’s rarely obtuse or oblique, rarely a tannin monster, and rarely big and phat. No, instead, Cabernet Franc tends towards the ballerina rather than the opera singer, more elegant than gregarious, more taut than titanic. Winemaker Michael Martella has come to fall in love with Cabernet Franc, especially from the Santa Cruz Mountains, and most especially from this special vineyard planted about 15 years ago at 800 feet above the Lexington Reservoir outside Los Gatos. Camel Hill Vineyard is owned and farmed by John Andersen, who has pretty much the whole stash of Bordeaux varietals here on this hilly, nicely sun-kissed site.
This Cabernet Franc really reflects its cool mountain terroir: it’s like a mountain lion in its intensity and its sleekness, and also in its hauntingly mysterious stealth on the palate. Unlike a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot from the same vineyard that might take over your mouth immediately upon entry, this one winds itself slowly around your tongue. The bright raspberry fruit mates nicely with flavours of gingerbread, coffee and toffee. The texture is beautiful with lovely, integrated tannins, and the finish is long, and filled with pine tar and currants. A very well made and delicious wine.
Reviewed February 20, 2008 by Laura Ness.