92-93 - Insider Points
91 Points - Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
"This reminds me of Jackson Family's legendary "Cardinale" for a quarter of the price! Super ripe blackberry and plum fruit hit your right away with a second wave of black cherry and blue berry notes. The vibrant and juicy fruit is tempered with scorched earth, sweet licorice and tar. The finish displays focused and linear tannins with just the right amount of toasty oak and cedarwood notes." - Neil Mechanic
"The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Pleinair spent 18 months in 58% new French oak before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. This elegant, stylish Cabernet Sauvignon, created from four different sources in Napa, exhibits a deep ruby/purple color as well as textured, blueberry, red and blackcurrant fruit, cedarwood and background toast, and a medium to full-bodied, plush style. There are 1,100 cases of this beauty that sells at a realistic price. Drink it over the next decade or more." - Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
I enjoy turning our clients onto new projects that are not found in the mass market. I wouldn't say this is going to be the next uber rare Napa Cult Cab, but after tasting the debut releases of the Galerie project, I'm convinced there's greatness in the making with reasonable prices not in the stratosphere.
Reasons why we love it:
The first thing that came to mind after tasting the 2012 Galerie "Pleinair" Cabernet was sipping on a current release of "Cardinale", a true expression of Napa that has power melded with elegance and sophistication.
The Galerie label is an off-shoot of the Jackson Family portfolio (i.e. Cardinale, Lokoya, La Jota and Mt. Brave) whose 2012 Cabernets were just released last month. I found that the "Pleinair" bottling was the standup of the lineup. A "Baby Cardinale" of sorts due to a similar sourcing of fruit to Cardinale and Lokoya incorporating fruit sources from Stagecoach Vineyard, Mt. Veeder, Howell Mountain and some Oakville fruit for accessibility.
Winemaker, Laura Díaz Muñoz is the new maiden of Napa Valley. She earned a Master of Science in Viticulture and Enoly from Polytechnic University of Madrid, then traveled the world making wine before settling in Napa to work with acclaimed winemaker, Chris Carpenter who oversees the Jackson Family Estates power trio of Cardinale, Lokoya and La Jota. Her training with Carpenter set her on a good path to success. She has full reign at Galerie and one to follow with future releases.
This effort stands proudly on its own merits for its opulent black and blue fruit with judicious oak (less than 60% new) to allow the fruit to express itself beautifully. Linear tannins keep the powerful fruit in check with a cleansing mouthwatering acidity.
Love Cardinale and Lokoya, but need to show some fiscal strength? This is for you! This effort is made with some similar vineyard blocks to these mentioned powerhouse labels, but made in a prettier and more accessible style for a quarter of the price!
Winemaker Tasting Notes:
“Beautiful red fruit layers of strawberry jam, raspberry and cherry with nuances of white pepper, tobacco leave and licorice. Velvety mouth feel with a tannin filled, fruit concentrated, long finish. Nice and balanced with natural acidity that promises many years to enjoy.” - Laura Díaz Muñoz, Winemaker
Galerie is a groovy new wine project, or, if we're being honest, it's more of a tasty intersection of art and science. Galerie represents a collection of wines showcasing two of California's top wine-growing regions, Napa Valley and Knights Valley. Winemaker Laura Díaz Muñoz earned a master of science in viticulture and enology from Polytechnic University of Madrid, then traveled the world making wine before settling in Napa to work with acclaimed winemaker, Chris Carpenter. With this project she's got full rein to bring these wine-growing regions to life by vinifying the wines in exactly the same way for both regions, so that the natural difference in their fruit character expresses their uniqueness in the glass. While there's an expression for everybody, you can rest assured that each bottling stands proudly on its own merits.
Enjoy with aged Gouda, sharp Cheddar or some ribeye steaks!