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July 24, 2021 | Jack Galante

Galante: Now This Cowboy Makes Big Reds!

Blog Review by Sharon from Decanting Monterey

I don’t spend nearly enough time wine tasting in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  Part of it is our search for warmth and sun. Part of it is not wanting to deal with crowds of people and parking. I did make it to a couple of the Carmel-by-the-Sea tasting rooms during COVID, mostly to pick up specific wines for my weekly class. Now that things are truly open, I want to get there more often. 

When I needed to find a new groomer for my dog (that is a long, pandemic story), I thought, “This could be a win-win!”  I dropped my dog at the groomer and walked to a couple of nearby tasting rooms. Perfect!  When can he get groomed again?  A year after my little guy was banned by one groomer, we struck gold!

Today’s post is about Galante Vineyards.  Galante was the first winery to open a tasting room in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  We have visited them several times over the many years. I learned from Kaela that Jack’s great grandfather was actually the founder of Carmel-by-the-Sea! Their roots in the area run deep! According to their website, Jack’s parents bought a cattle ranch in Carmel Valley and began growing grapes (focused on Cabernet Sauvignon) in 1983.  Over a decade later, Jack decided to build a winery and make his own wine.  There is definitely a ranch/cowboy theme in his tasting room and in his wines!

If you are a big red drinker, you will find something to please your palate at Galante!

The ranch is located in the Cachagua region of Carmel Valley, home to several wineries large and small producing rich Bordeaux varietals. I contend that the climate and terroir of Cachagua result in some of the finest wines produced in Monterey County. I like my reds big – and the fruit in this region seems extra delicious.  Today I am presenting 6 Galante red wines.  The winery notes come from their website linked above.

2017 Galante Kick Ass Red, Carmel Valley AVA, 13.5% ABV, $35 (#405*)

Winery notes: “With a blend of 73% Malbec and 27% Petite Sirah, this untamed wine from our Carmel Valley Estate vineyards has the familiar smell of saddle leather and fresh picked huckleberries.  It cuts loose with rustic flavors of blueberry cobbler rounding out its hearty finish. It’ll make any trail meal taste fancy.”

My Review: Super dark ruby in the glass. Intense deep berry on the nose (my Cachagua fruit!).  Bright acidity.  The Petite Sirah really tempers the Malbec in this blend. From one of the oldest vineyards in Carmel Valley. 

2014 Galante “Ace High” Malbec, Carmel Valley AVA, 14% ABV, $40 (#406*)

Winery notes: “If you haven’t had a bottle of this 2014 vintage lately, you’re in for a treat!  At almost 6 years  old, this wine is absolutely delicious – full-bodied, soft, and fruit forward with notes of spicy plum and blackberry – there is no better pairing with a nice grilled steak or perhaps some slow-cooked short ribs.”

My Review: Very inky in the glass.  Bright acidity on the palate (I learned Jack likes lower alcohol and a bit of acidity).  Cassis flavors on the palate with a touch of raisin and a very dry finish.

2018 Galante Rancho Galante, Carmel Valley AVA, 14% ABV, $45 (#407*)

Winery notes: “This lovely blend of Malbec, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon is direct and lively with excellent red fruit and bright acidity.  It will compliment most any meal or perhaps just a wonderful cheese selection.”

My Review: Smokey rich berry nose.  Smooth, intense berry fruit on the palate and a dry finish.  My notes say “Wow!” This was one of my preferred wines of those tasted today.  I took a bottle home! July 2021 

2017 Galante Red Rose Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmel Valley AVA, 13.3% ABV, $50 (#408*)

Winery notes: “A blend of 8% each of Malbec, Petite Sirah & Melot with 76% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Enjoy this explosive mouth full…of beautiful cherry and sweet tangy cassis.” (from the tasting sheet)

My Review: Intense on the palate with acidity and a bit of sweet cherry on the finish.

2018 Galante Legacy Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmel Valley AVA, 14% ABV, $85 (#409*)

Winery notes: “We are especially excited to present our inaugural 2018 Legacy Cabernet Sauvignon (75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot). This series celebrates Jack Galante’s great grandfather’s vision which created the town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. The photo on this first label depicts James Frank Devendorf in his buggy overlooking what is to become the town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Aged in new French Oak for a full 20 months, this wine is opulent and rich with bold, lingering flavors of ripe blackberry, cassis and vanilla. With ample, chewy yet soft tannins, this wine will be extremely cellar worthy for many decades so put a bottle or two away but enjoy some now as well. Only 100 cases were produced!”

My Review: Almost purple in the glass. Slight caramel on the nose.  Intense berries on the palate with a lingering finish.  This was indeed my favorite of the day.

2001 Galante Rancho Galante Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmel Valley AVA, 14.1% ABV, $135 (#410*)

Winery notes: “The color is very bright and youthful. Initially the nose may have a slight lactic scent that blows off with some air leading to expressive black fruit. The flavors are big and rich with a concentrated black currant. Very bright on the front of the palate and long on the finish. This wine will benefit from some open time but will go on for many years in the bottle. Outstanding!”

My Review: Inky dark in the glass – very different in appearance from the other wines tasted today.  BBQ ribs and some cooked fruit on the nose, reflecting the age of this library selection.  Some raisin and cassis on the palate.

You can buy Galante wines online or at their Tasting Room on Dolores between 7th and Ocean Ave., Carmel-by-the-Sea.  They are open daily!

 *Refers to wines tasted while Sheltering in Place on Sharon’s personal Facebook group “Sharon’s Central Coast (Monterey) Wine Blog” – including non-Central Coast wines.    

© Decanting Monterey 2021











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