2007 Almond Flat Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir •Almond Flat Vineyard
California: Carmel Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: A Cowboy’s Burgundy
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Return to our friends at Galante Vineyards and secure an exclusive allocation of their fantastic Almond Flat Pinot Noir..
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Galante Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2007 Almond Flat Estate Pinot Noir
Winemaker: Greg Vita
Backgrounder: Our Operatives know that we are huge fans of Galante wines. We have featured a handful of Galante wines in the past, and today marks the return of their delicious Almond Flat Carmel Valley Pinot Noir. Monterey County in general, and the Carmel Valley specifically is rapidly emerging as an ideal climate for exceptional Pinot Noir. The Wine Spies have featured several Monterey County Pinots and, every time, our Operatives have scooped them up enthusiastically.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark ruby red with a slight garnet tint. Brilliantly clear in its heart with bright streaks when held to the light and when swirled, tightly spaced thin legs hang on the side of the glass before slowly descending to the wine below.
Smell – Remarkably complex on the nose with the spiced red fruit including red and Bing cherry hitting first but lingering just underneath are earthy undertones, hints of black tea and cola, wild anise and other green herbs and toasted oak that reveals a touch of vanilla creme and caramel.
Feel – Smooth and supple on the initial attack with this wine’s fine tannins and balanced acidity hitting mid-palate along with a soft textured mineral character.
Taste – Tart and spiced red cherry lead the way and are followed by notes of hot and exotic spice. Complex earthiness, wild anise and black tea emerge and are followed by hints of toasted oak.
Finish – Ultra clean and medium-long in length with hints of tart and spiced red fruit lingering on the palate as the textured minerals and finely grained tannins dry the palate and invite another sip. As this wine fades, the other complex flavors and aromas linger.
Conclusion – Once again, The Wine Spies are greatly impressed with this Cowboy Pinot! The*2007 Galante Vineyards Almond Flat Estate Pinot Noir* is a classic at a very affordable price. Great aromas and flavors, soft on the attack but still well structured with enough acidity to hold up as a great wine to pair with food. And clean on the finish to boot. Enjoy this wine today with your appetizer course or cellar for a few years and see how it continues to evolve.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The approximate location of the Galante Vineyards in Carmel Valley can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Cowboy Philosophy: “Don’t squat with your spurs on.”
About This Wine:
A great Pinot Noir character with bright Bing cherries followed by vanilla and anise. A very complex wine.
From our Almont Flats vineyard, high atop the Carmel Valley, this Pinot Noir is elegant and bold, but very approachable. Large, with ample tannins, the mountain fruit shines through on the palate and the nose, with strawberry, cherry, plum, and soft spice. Black tea, fennel and oak give the wine added character. Textured and well-balanced, this wine finishes long and very clean.
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.
Brix at Harvest: 24
Total Acid: 6.2
Harvest Date: 10/3/07
Aging: 33% new French oak