2009 Red Rose Hill Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon • Red Rose Hill Vineyard
California: Carmel Valley
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Mission Codename: Parade of Roses
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Galante Vineyards in California’s beautiful Carmel Valley and procure an ample allotment their newest Red Rose Hill Cab for our Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Galante Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2009 Red Rose Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Greg Vita
Backgrounder: Our loyal Operatives know that we are huge fans of Galante wines. Whenever we can get our hands on their limited-production wines, we jump at the chance to feature them here. Today, we are proud to bring you our fifth successive vintage of Jack Galante’s exceptional new Red Rose Hill Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is delicious and ready to enjoy now. Just be certain to buy a few bottles to lay down, and you’ll be rewarded! Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below to learn more about this superior Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep, dark burgundy, with glinting red edging and a solid, darker core. After swirling, tall, wine-stained legs take a very long time to form high on the glass. After they appear, they march steadily downward.
Smell – Fragrant, lush and sweet, leading off with black cherry, blackberry, leather, brown spice and black currant. As the wine opens, it introduces aromas of black cherry, dried fall leaves, plum, cigar box and brown spice.
Feel – Soft and light across the front of the palate, the wine becomes almost instantly grippy as plush tannins take hold at the mid-palate. Bright acidity transports fruit to the far corners of the mouth. A soft minerality and a spreading dryness follow.
Taste – Dark and dense, with layered dark fruit, earthy characteristics and soft spice. Out in front, sweetly spiced cherry, blackberry, red plum and tobacco leaf. These are followed by notes of dried rose petal, sweet tobacco, cigar box, sweet spice, dried fall leaves, softly toasted oak dusty dark cocoa.
Finish – Very long and very complex, lead by red and black fruit that slowly yield to earthy flavors, spice and minerals. At the very end, a hint of pencil shavings and black pepper remain long after the fruit flavors have faded.
Conclusion – Today marks the fifth successive vintage that we’ve showcased Jack Galante’s wonderful Galante Vineyards Red Rose Hill Cabernet Sauvignon. Today’s 2009 deserves your special attention as this is his best vintage since the extraordinary 2007. Yes, we gushed about the 2008, but this 2009 really delivers something even more special. This young wine is delicious, complex and drinking beautifully, right now. That said, though, we’d recommend that you stock up, so that you can hold a few bottles for the next several years. We think that the 2009 vintage will prove to be another vintage that takes us by surprise. We give this wonderful wine our very strong recommendation. Enjoy now or cellar a case or two for the next decade. Pair this delicious wine with a black pepper rubbed cowboy steak, cooked over an open campfire!
note: be sure to read the following in your best cowboy voice
Howdy Pardners! Agent Red here, reportin’ back from the range.
During a recent mission to infiltrate the notorious Galante Gang_, I was known simply as ’_*Red*’.
Why me? Well, match up my love for great red wines with the time I spent playing Cowboys and Indians as a child – and it was only natural that Central Command should chose me for this mission.
It had been rumored that Galante produced some of the best Cabernets in the state so I was sent to investigate. I arrived at the Galante Ranch where I was greeted by Cowboy Winemaker, Jack Galante. I told Jack right off that I was new in town and wanted to join his Gang. He looked somewhat skeptical when he noticed my shiny penny loafers, but after he sized me up, he invited me in for a tasting. (Note to self: Pay better attention to my disguises!)
Jack poured me a glass of his Cabernet Sauvignon (shouldn’t he serve it in a tin cup?). What struck me first was this wine didn’t have the overpowering aromas of chili pepper usually found in the Cabs of the Monterey region. Rather, I found sandalwood, oak, cherry, currant and rose. This is an aromatic wine that’s not afraid to boast about its character.
After some very skillful cowboy style sniffing and yelling “YEE-HAW!”, I went in for a taste. I was impressed. This is a very bright and flavorful wine that has a big mouth feel, with medium tannins and big tastes of cherry and berry.
I think that Jack was impressed with my cowboy manner. At least I think that’s why he was looking at me in that way. And, no, that’s not a Brokeback reference. Jack is all man.
This wine certainly gets my personal recommendation and I’m pretty sure that we’ll feature other Galante wines here in the future. Pair it with free range gourmet like pan-seared baked beans, cactus fritters or even a fine tumbleweed stew.
For a real Cowboy Cabernet that can be served with real cuisine, you should pick up a bottle or two. This is a wine that is ready to drink now, but could peak in just a few years.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Red Rose Hill vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
Cowboy Philosophy: “Never follow good wine with water…unless you’re out of good wine.”
About This Wine:
This fabulous Cabernet is a blend of 8% Merlot, 8% Malbec, 8% Petit Sirah and 76% Cabernet Sauvignon. One is immediately struck by the deep color of this wine which leads into an explosive mouth full of cherry and cassis. A good amount of vanilla flavors from the new French oak and chewy tannins round out this wine, lingering in a really long finish.
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: 23.7
Total Acid: 0.7
Harvest Date: 11/4/09