2013GalanteViognier2013 Galante Vineyards, Viognier, Estate, Carmel Valley.
A visit home to Carmel Valley usually includes checking in on the local wineries and seeing what the natives are up to, and this trip is no different with a bunch of choices to follow up on, including two new white wines from Carmel Valley’s own Jack Galante. I had received the Galante Wine Gang newsletter informing me as to the latest addition of a white called the Wagon Wheel White, a cuvee of 92% Sauvignon Blanc and 8% Viognier, a wine that sees some barrel raising and what feels like mall fermentation, this pretty and exotic wine is fresh, perfumed, vibrant and is lush and creamy in the mouth feel, very pleasing and exciting, plus Galante also has a straight Viognier, which is more subtle and austere with some power, but has more subtleness and is more edgy with good acidity and bitter elements that balance well with the sweet sensation you usually find in California Viognier. This looks to be an interesting project and as the vines get older and experience sets in, I think the potential looks great. The 2013 Galante Estate Viognier has a restrained nose at this point, and I think it is shy, not overly floral or showing trademark honeysuckle in a big way yet, but there is nice hints, along with almond oil, mineral, peach, oyster shell and vanilla before a medium weight palate, that I’m sure with fill out in the next 6 months, with lemon, melon, white peach and tangy apricot fruits bursting through along with butterscotch, bitter green almond and dust earthy notes. This Viognier has some old world rustic elements and grip, I think it might be from young vines, but overall it is a solid effort and is impressive with food, I like where Galante is going with this new lineup of whites and there is some exciting times ahead for the Ranch, drink the Viognier young while the wine is still bright and youthful, now through 2015.
($32 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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