Testarossa Vineyards Pinot Noir Fogstone Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands 2018

Medium ruby color; raspberry, cherry, lemon zest, sage on the nose; raspberry, cherry, cranberry, plum, blackberry, oak, baking spice on the palate.

Testarossa Vineyards Pinot Noir Fogstone Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands 2018

Dry; rich, savory, soft and inviting in the mouth. Light tannins and mild acidity (3.44 pH). Silky finish that pleasantly lingers. Admirable complexity, somewhat muted—but delicately tasty—fruit. Medium body. 14.1% ABV

Rob and Diana Jensen met when they were electrical engineering students at Santa Clara and dated over long dinners with good wine. They both went on to pursue careers in high tech, but weekends pursued their winemaking hobby. After 20 years in high-tech sales and marketing they took the plunge of owning a winery. As the winery succeeded, Diana was the first to leave her tech job and run the winery full time. In 2023, they celebrated the 30th year of living their dream.

Testarossa owners Rob and Diana Jensen from video history

The winery name means “red head” in Italian, which was Rob’s nickname while he was a university student in Italy. The winery is located in the historic Catholic Navitiate winery of Los Gatos. Today the Jensens blend centuries-old winemaking techniques with state-of-the-art technology to make award-winning wine.

Testarossa winery

Fogstone Vineyard is owned by Bret Sisney and Gary Filizetti and is one of the northernmost estates in the Santa Lucia Highlands. It is on an east facing slope that rises from 200 feet to 500 feet as you go up the bench.
Originally planted in 1993 through 1997, Fogstone has thirty-five acres of Pinot Noir, utilizing seven different clones. It has thirty-six acres of Chardonnay consisting of 6 different clones.

All seventy-one acres of Fogstone Vineyard are designated for Testarossa, making it one of Testarossa’s few Monopole wines. The property’s close proximity to Monterey Bay makes for a very cool climate, with one of California’s longest growing seasons. The resulting slow, gentle ripening allows for full flavor development on the vine. Fogstone is one of Testarossa’s most innovative vineyard partners; Winemaker Bill Brosseau works very closely with the vineyard manager and directly oversees growing decisions.

Testarossa director of wine Bill Brosseau

Testarossa Vineyards Pinot Noir Fogstone Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands 2018 is clean, down-the-middle, conservative. Varietally correct. Does not challenge you with weight and fruitiness as some California PN may do, but plays its own game between assertiveness of Cali PN and ethereal flights of Willamette Valley. Certainly will be appreciated by those who don’t cotton to the extremes of pinot noir, but do want to avoid the boredom and ersatz of commodity PN. Pair with lighter beef cuts; veal; poultry—baked chicken, turkey; venison; meaty and oily fish—salmon, tuna. Cheese—sheep’s milk cheese; gruyère, swiss, provolone, caciocavallo, fontina, brie, camambert. $50-74

Testarossa Vineyards website, informative videos

Testarossa owners Rob and Diana Jensen