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Staff Favorites - Brian Fogarty

Brian Fogarty

Reviews

2013 Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 01-11-2018
Leeuwin Estates is one of Margret River’s founding wineries, and the grapes classified by the winemaker as “Art Series” worthy are only selected from the pinnacle of the estate fruit. The sandy, loamy soils of these vineyards force the vine roots down into the fractured granite below insuring vine stress and true mineral expressions. This terroir can only produce profound wines when paired with persistent cold winds like the ones howling off the Indian Ocean through these same Leeuwin vineyards. The 2013 Art Series Cab greets you with boysenberry, blueberry, and eucalyptus that is decorated with the clear aromas of broken rock and thin, dusty soils. Secondary notes of twiggy bay leaf, raspberry, and coffee percolate as you return for sniff after revealing sniff. The palate is well structured with mid-weight tannins and an even presence through the mid palate and the ample finish. Beautiful on its own, but I can see this wine being even more enjoyable as a partner with a meal and several glasses!

2016 TWR (Te Whare Ra) "Toru" White Field Blend Marlborough
Review Date: 01-03-2018
As I am also the new German and Alsatian buyer at K&L I may have geeked-out a little while trying this wine for the first time, but the wine certainly delivered with a clean, refined, yet uniquely expressive voice that I was hoping to find. This wine is a true field blend (harvested and fermented together; rare in the modern era) with three Alsatian varietals: 80% Gewurztraminer, 10% Riesling, and 10% Pinot Gris; thus the name TORU or “three” in the Maori language. Initially I told myself I would hunt for all three varietals on the nose but what I found was much more. In the glass it started with white and yellow honeysuckle flowers, lime blossom, honeycomb and a briny essence that leaned toward Mediterranean sea salt. The quartz minerality that developed was a welcome surprise after a few swirls in the glass. The wine has real “tension” and precision; high praise if used to describe German wines to a German! On the palate I found a gripping wine that is beautifully confounding and amazingly harmonious. Trying to pull the tree varietals apart was a fool’s errand and I was better served understanding the precision and style intended by a master winemaker. Fresh not sweet, and at 13.5% alcohol most would probably define the wine as dry – I would. This wine came home with me and Thai was its happy partner!
Price: Hidden View Price
RC 93 SK 92

Jansz "Premium" Brut Rosé Tasmania
Review Date: 12-14-2017
Personally I cannot wait to show up to my next party with friends and bring a bottle Tasmanian Sparkling Rose; conversation starter in a bottle (and only $20!) Champagne is grown at the far northern reaches of where grapes can ripen due to cold temperatures and a short growing window. The same is true at the far southern reaches of our planet where Tasmania takes wine growing to the extreme producing a strikingly similar tart, small berried production of extraordinary grape juice. Jansz’s Brut Rose is a soft pale pink (not over extracted) and greets you in the glass with the chalky, bready nose you hoped for with raspberries and rosewater adding to the bouquet. As you sip the wine you find tight bubbles and the fruit broadens to introduce white satellite peach to the persistent red berries. Cheers Mate!

Launois "Veuve Clemence" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 12-12-2017
Champagne is always a welcome choice and not just for special occasions, but when you open a bottle of single village Grand Cru Champagne that is an occasion all unto itself. Mesnil sur Oger is a quant hamlet in southern half of the Cote du Blanc with many famous parcels, and the Launois family captures that specific essence perfectly. The toasty, brioche nose opens up quickly to reveal yellow fig, Golden Delicious apple, fields of jasmine, a walnut nuttiness and then you find the hints of chalk you were looking for. On the palate the apple gets firmer and a little more Granny Smith, pear and white pepper can be found, and the chalk is easily detected. The wine has firm acidity but leaves plenty of room to experience the softer elements.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

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.