2009 Carmel Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc •Estate Bottled
California: Carmel Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: Real Cowboys Drink White Wine
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Return to Galante Vineyards in California’s beautiful Carmel Valley and secure an allocation of their newly released and winery exclusive Sauvignon Blanc.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Galante Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2009 Carmel Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Winemaker: Greg Vita
Backgrounder: Our Operatives know that we are huge fans of Galante wines. We have featured their wines previously, but today is the first time we have features a Sauvignon Blanc from our friend, Cowboy Jack Galante. Jack creates great wines in general, so why feature a fantastic Sauvignon Blanc? Sauvignon Blanc originally hails from the Loire Valley in France, but has found new homes in other parts of France (Bordeaux, where it is blended with Sauternes); New Zealand, and specifically the Marlborough region as well as California. It is generally dry and crisp with flavors of apples, pears and tropical fruit and tends to have bright acidity that lends itself well to pairing with spicy foods.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Crystal clear with orange and golden hues through its pale straw yellow core. The color remains to the edges and when swirled, slow and evenly spaced thin legs descend to the springy wine below.
Smell – Fresh and redolent with the tropical and citrus fruit leading the way, specifically fresh and bright aromas of pink grapefruit. Add a touch of subtle green herb and flinty smoke to beg you to take a sip.
Feel – Bright and clean, this dry medium-bodied white has lively and tingly acidity that dances over the palate with a touch of mineral crispness.
Taste – The tropical and citrus fruit found on the nose make their full appearance on the lively palate of this wine. Tart and sweet pink grapefruit, melon, guava and other fresh tropical flavors mix with slate minerals and very subtle green herbs.
Finish – Medium in length, with lingering tart citrus that clings for just a moment before fading and leaving hints of the delicious citrus and tropical fruit behind.
Conclusion – The 2009 Galante Vineyards Carmel Valley Sauvignon Blanc is a delicious, fresh and youthful wine that is a perfect food wine. Bring and fresh on both the nose and palate, with lively acidity and crisp minerality, this wine doesn’t require much though to fully enjoy.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Greg Vita
WINE EDUCATION: UC Davis
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Spring Mountain Vineyards 13 years, Galante Vineyards 15 years
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Let the vineyard express itself.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: You can make a bad wine from good grapes, but you cannot make a great wine from bad grapes.
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 1984 Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
AGENT WHITE: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
GREG: The 2009 Sauvignon Blanc fermented in stainless steel and then aged in new French oak barrels for three months. The wine exhibits crisp, fresh characteristics of peaches and pears.
WHITE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
GREG: Fresh wild Alaska salmon with pesto
WHITE: In your opinion, what makes the Cachagua Valley so special?
GREG: Cachagua Valley which is located off of Carmel Valley is unique that it has warm days and very cool nights .July through Sept the daytime temps are usually in the high 90’s with the nights in the high 30’s. This gives the grapes a very long hang time, low pH and good acidity.
WHITE: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
GREG: This is a slow time as all of the whites from 2009 have been bottled and the reds are aging in the cave. Lots of time for fly fishing.
WHITE: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Galante Vineyards vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Cowboy Philosophy: “Always drink upstream from the herd.”
About This Wine:
Upon opening this wine you are immediately struck by the scent of tropical guava which carries forward through the taste. This wine has a big, rich center with hints of vanilla (from some slight oak treatment), and a tart, citric finish accentuated by the prominent acids.
Available only through the winery.
About Our Winery:
At Galante Vineyards our philosophy is simple: grow the finest grapes possible and let the fruit express itself in the wine. Since all of our grapes are estate grown, each bottle of wine we produce embodies the characteristics of our unique region, exhibiting the natural flavors that are born from the land.
The Galante Family has a long history in the Monterey area. Owner Jack Galante’s great grandfather, J.F. Devendorf, was the founder of the town of Carmel. He later built the Pine Inn and the prestigious Highlands Inn. In 1969, Jack’s parents purchased a 700-acre cattle ranch in rustic Carmel Valley. While still maintaining a working cattle ranch, the Galantes, in 1983, began growing premium grapes on their property, specializing in Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1994, Jack Galante decided to build a winery and use some of his grapes to produce ultra-premium estate bottled wines. Today Galante is recognized as one of the premier Cabernet Sauvignon producers in Monterey County and all of California.
About Our Wine:
We produce very limited quantities of Estate Bottled 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from two single vineyards, Red Rose Hill and Blackjack Pasture. Our philosophy is to grow the finest grapes possible and let them speak for themselves through the wine. Several factors influence the quality of the grapes grown at our vineyards. Due to the extreme daily temperature variations in Cachagua (upper Carmel Valley), the growing season is very long with harvest normally occurring in mid October. This long “hang time” causes the grapes to ripen slowly, intensifying their rich berry flavors. We also thin the crop to an average of two tons per acre providing a low yield of very high quality grapes. We do not use pesticides or herbicides in the vineyards and only irrigate when needed. These methods, and others, combine to produce the highest quality grapes (see Vintner).Estate Wines, Galante Vineyards, California Wines
Our wine label is very special to us and reflects our roots and our efforts at Galante Vineyards. The image of the label is a photograph of real leather, hand-tooled by a California saddle maker with conchos in each corner designed by a local silversmith. The artwork for Red Rose Hill and Blackjack Pasture was created by world-renowned artist, G.H. Rothe. Our vineyard names are also meaningful; Blackjack Pasture is adjacent to the field where a favorite roping horse, Blackjack, spent the last of her 36 years. Red Rose Hill rises above a field of crimson rose bushes (just a small portion of our thousands of rose bushes), and Rancho Galante celebrates our beginnings as a cattle ranch, known as “Rancho Galante”. Even our back labels incorporate our cowboy image by including a special “Cowboy Philosophy” hand picked by owner Jack Galante.