Galante Vineyards2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Rose Hill
The labels say Galante Vineyards is in the Carmel Valley AVA, but it’s actually one of a handful of operations in the remote, scenic Cachagua Valley, a distinctive sub-area in the AVA. The Galantes began planting the vineyard on a portion of their 700-acre cattle ranch in 1983, and the seven-acre Red Rose Hill block was among the first planted. (Galante also grows roses – hence the name of the vineyard block.)
The Red Rose Hill Cabernet is one of three Cabs produced, and for the 2003 vintage, it’s my favorite. The wine, which spent 18 months in barrel, shows great elegance and restraint, with ample ripe cherry and cassis flavors, accented by a savory note of black olive. It’s firmly structured, but the tannins are polished and approachable rather than harsh. It’s a Cab that offers a lot of flavor for its $30 price tag. The winery predicts that it will age well for five to seven years, but I’d happily drink it now with a juicy steak or a grilled rack of lamb.
Reviewed February 16, 2007 by Laurie Daniel.
Laurie Daniel, wine columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, has been reviewing wine for more than 10 years. She doesn’t use numbers, preferring to describe her recommended wines and let consumers decide for themselves. Laurie believes that bigger isn’t necessarily better; she’s partial to wines of balance, finesse and character. Her particular interests are Pinot Noir (versions that really taste like Pinot, that is) and aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Gewürztraminer.