2006 Gallaway Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Gallaway Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Dry Creek Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: The return of the Red Thumb
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to old-time favorite, Thumbprint Cellars, secure an exclusive allocation of their superb Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Thumbprint Cellars
Wine Subject: 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley Gallaway Vineyard
Winemaker: Scott Lindstrom-Dake
Backgrounder: The Dry Creek Valley AVA in northeastern Sonoma (north of Healdsburg) county is somewhat warmer and wetter than the Russian River Valley AVA region just to the south and the Alexander Valley AVA just to the east. The warmer and wetter climate provides great versatility with regard to the types of grapes that can be effectively cultivated in the region.
Today’s superb wine comes from the Gallaway Vineyard, a sustainably farmed vineyard that produces expressive and superb Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deepest inky purple, with a deep and nearly-black core, the wine shows remarkable concentration, right out the the very edge of the glass. Fat, color-stained tears start high on the glass before they march very slowly downward.
Smell – Bold and aromatic with rich dark cherry, blackberry, fresh blueberry, redwood bark, plum and soft allspice.
Feel – A medium bodied feel on entry quickly leads to a more full-bodied feel, with a plush crushed-velvet feel that quickly spreads throughout the entire palate. Eventually, a flinty minerality adds a soft dryness, retaining the darker flavors of the wine.
Taste – Concentrated and bold with wonderfully balanced red and black fruits. The wine shows off deepest dark cherry, ripe blackberry, cranberry, red plum and Bing cherry. These slowly yield to a dry minerality that seems to retain the darker flavors of the wine for a long time. As the fruit flavors taper, soft cedar, black pepper and remain for a long time.
Finish – Ultra-long and flavor-filled, this wine takes forever to release its full compliment of rich flavors. Toward the end, as stated above, red and black fruit yield to minerals which, in turn, yield to cedar and spice.
Conclusion – Wow and wow! This is a big Dry Creek Valley Cabernet that is absolutely bursting with flavor. Be sure to decant for best results. We tasted the wine on opening, and then again after an hour. The difference was remarkable. On opening, the wine drinks a little hot, with alcohol interfering with the delicious fruit that, just one hour later, absolutely leaps from the wine. We have always been big fans of Thumbprint wines and we are very pleased to be showcasing today’s exceptional 2006 Gallaway Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon today. Rich with flavor, bold on the nose and with an extraordinarily long finish, this is a big Cab that gives its Napa rivals and real run for their money. Serve with a pepper-crusted roast, a grilled steak, or nearly any other big, bold meal. If you love big, balanced Cabernet, please do not miss out on this opportunity to enjoy this really superb wine from Thumbprint Cellars!
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Scott Lindstrom-Dake
WINE EDUCATION: School of Hard Knocks
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Chateau Stucco, Pezzi King, F. Teldeschi, thumbprint cellars
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Find the BEST grapes you can and DON’T screw it up
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Winemaker’s should come with warning labels”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: October, 2002
AGENT RED: Greetings, Scott. We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Gallaway Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
SCOTT: I neither confirm nor deny that statement.
RED: That’s the spirit! Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
SCOTT: When I was 10 years old, being the youngest in the family, I was assigned the task of opening all the wine for the family dinners. Of course, I HAD to taste it to make sure it was ok to serve. By age 12 I was helping with wine and food pairings, suggesting wines from better vintages and suggesting aging potential for certain wines.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
SCOTT: There are several. Matanzas Creek merlot’s from the early ’90’s, hearty Dry Creek zinfandel’s and Sonoma County’s sub-appellation cabernet sauvignon’s excite me most but I enjoy all well-made wines.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
SCOTT: I make wine to drink myself. Sometimes I even share whatever is left.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
SCOTT: This is a chewy Dry Creek Valley Hillside cabernet sauvignon. The grapes come from the Western Ridge of this appellation, Gallaway Vineyard. It is blended with about 3% merlot and 2% cabernet franc. I use only 10% new French oak barrels and fill in the rest with 2-4 year old French oak barrels.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
SCOTT: I would try this with rack of lamb with mint jelly.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Dry Creek Valley so special?
SCOTT: Dry Creek Valley is rich with diversity. The soil conditions and weather really drive the varietal and the vintage will express unique character.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
SCOTT: I’ve been trying to get a kegerator to store our beer. It takes a lot of beer to make good wine! Between the assistant winemaker and the cellar masturbator the CRV on bottles is killin’ my beer budget. Other than that, we’re getting the 2010 wines through Malo-lactic fermentation, racking them off their lees and getting them ready for hibernation.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
SCOTT: I love to experience how my wines evolve from the time they are poured into my glass until I sip the last taste. I never recommend any of the aerators, rather, I prefer to awaken the wines by swirling and a little patience.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
SCOTT: I’ve been told I have to keep my clothes on in public. Other than that I hope you will all follow me through my wine blog as I spend the next three months in Tuscany, Italy. I will be exploring small family owned organic wineries, tasting through their wines and writing about them at our website. I will be sure to include some fun video, pictures and non-wine related adventures as well. Salute’!
RED: 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 Dry Creek region can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Brian Gallaway’s ideals are simple: to farm using sustainable practices and produces intense ripeness and extremely complex varietal character through balance: dark cherry, fresh cedar, bold blueberry and subtle oak weave a tapestry of aromas and flavors. A dusty fruit finish blends into a mouthful of textures and complex fruit tannins.
About the Winery:
Thumbprint Cellars’ winemaker, Scott Lindstrom-Dake, has been making wine since 1995. “I developed a palate for fine wine, but as a college student I couldn’t afford to buy it. My mom and step-dad have been growing premium wine grapes for years and the light bulb just kind of went on- I can make my own wine.” So it began, a hobby in college to supplement the ‘cellar’ of he and his wife.
The first vintage was a great success. The wines were enjoyed by friends and family alike (all 4 cases of it), and demand began to grow. As requests for more wine grew, Scott decided to move away from ‘shiners’ (unlabeled bottles), and add a little flair to his wine packaging. Using a gold pen, he would write personal messages on each bottle he gave away or sold. During one such episode, Scott inadvertently grabbed the bottle where the gold ink was still wet – leaving a large gold thumbprint. He loved the look, and so thumbprint cellars was born.
About The Winemaker:
Scott Lindstrom-Dake, has been making wine since 1995. He told me, “I developed a palate for fine wine, but as a college student I couldn’t afford to buy it. My mom and step-dad have been growing premium wine grapes for years and the light bulb just kind of went on- I can make my own wine.”
Scott’s first vintage was a great success and his wines enjoyed by his close friends and family (all 4 cases of it). As requests for more wine grew, Scott decided to move away from ‘shiners’ (unlabeled bottles), and add a little flair to his wine packaging. Using a gold pen, he wrote personal messages on each bottle he gave away or sold. After writing on one particular bottle, Scott inadvertently grabbed the bottle where the gold ink was still wet – leaving a large gold thumbprint. He loved the look, and so Thumbprint Cellars was born.
Alcohol By Volume: 14.5%