2010 Galante Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rancho Galante, Carmel Valley.
The Rancho Galante Cabernet is the estate workhorse for Jack Galante and his gang and it is a fine and pleasing wine that shows firm structure, detailed fruit with lively flavors. Having worked at Galante and having their wines since the mid nineties it was fun to sit down with Jack Galante and hear how things were going and what new ideas they were working on, since I left they added a fun Petite Sirah and Malbec and the Pinot Noir has matured. The Galante barrel aged Sauvignon Blanc is another smash hit for the estate along with their flagship Blackjack Pasture Cabernet, plus there is the top limited edition blended wine called the Grand Champion which would be considered the”Opus One” of Carmel Valley and is a good rival for the reserve wines from Parsonage. In other words, there is a lot to look forward to in Carmel Valley and Galante is looking ahead to the future with lots of excitement. Back to the latest Rancho Galante Cabernet, the 2010 vintage looks set to be one of the best years to date, though Jack did say he thought the 2012 vintage looks to be the best ever, I really liked the 2010 and enjoy the freshness and medium body, it drinks like a savvy claret with good balance and grace. A combo of red and black fruits hit on the palate with black cherry, plum and mixed berries with tangy cigar notes, pepper, saddle leather and hints of mocha. The acidity and tight tannins need to soften, but it does open with air giving a touch of creme de cassis and the finish is solid if dry, best to have with food, especially a nice cut of steak. Drink now through 2018, decant if possible for the next year, but this is a very well made Cabernet that is well rounded and a good value. (Disclaimer, as mentioned I did work at Galante in 2005-2006)
($25 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive