Building the Perfect Cab

Impenetrable staining purple ruby with a black & white edge. Burnt rubber or bramble-fire give a smokey toast to the spice. Cassis and careful portions of mint roll along in a smooth egg-white medium of elegance and depth but there’s a bite to it letting you know it is seriously well-stuffed.

So… I can probably count on one hand the number of wines from Napa I have had produced by Gallo. I’m pretty sure my one or two brushes with Ernest & Julio Signature Cab are the only ones. Everything else I have enjoyed–and there have been MANY–have been Sonoma. Back in the late-80’s we started in on the Sonoma Select or something–I can still see the label but forget the exact name. There was an extremely serviceable Cabernet and Merlot. Not sure I ventured much further into the line. Then of course the Frei Ranch Zinfandels along with several other Zins which were part of another series–I also forget the exact name of. Pretty sure there was a Merlot here too and possibly a Cab. Frei Ranch is across the street from Olivet Lane right at Dehlinger, no? But I especially remember that E&J Signature Napa coming out and being something astronomical like $69 or something!!! Holy crap that’s expensive!

Then this black label Gallo Signature with Gina prominently displayed has popped up on my radar several times in the past few years. So it kinda scratches back into old times. Hey, you can laugh at Gallo all you want. Listen: anyone who make THAT much wine a year knows something about wine-making. Don’t kid yourself.

This thing is not what I would call “brightly fruited”. Even now, the nose is headed into far more sultry territory–well shy of raisin-y, but it is a rich mass of ripe, dry fruit. In the mouth, an instant chalky bite accompanies the equally serious bite of the fruit. An intense smoothing of oak can not hide the burn. This thing’s 15-oh or I’m a monkey’s uncle. Beautiful fruit, really; gripping acidity; a nice complement of petrichor and mineral working alongside even subtler levels of earth and barnyard. Tannins prod you progressively–I mean: this thing’s got a good chunk of Monte Rosso in it and also a splash of PV. Decanted heavy, the flabbiness is exemplified and the AL burn goes nowhere.

Pretty textbook for Napa 2018. Or Paso. Even Washington. This wine will make a LOT of people happy. It is a well-made wine. I am confident no expense was spared in producing this profile.

2012 GALLO Signature Series Cabernet Sauvignon/PV 99/1 William Hill/Monte Rosso 87/13 Napa Valley 14.9

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