2006 Galante Vineyards Blackjack Pasture Cabernet Sauvignon

Mission Codename: Double Down

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Return to Operative favorite, Galante Vineyards, and secure Cowboy Jack Galante’s newest Blackjack Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, his stunning 2005. Wrangle a some for our range-riding Operatives

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Galante Vineyards

Wine Subject: 2006 Blackjack Pasture Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker: Greg Vita

Backgrounder: Each year, The Wine Spies eagerly anticipate Jack Galante’s latest Blackjack VineyardCabernet Sauvignon. Grown in select blocks of his estate vineyard on his Carmel Valley ranch, the Blackjack is always our favorite of his wonderful Cabernets. This 2006 vintage is the finest yet. This bold wine is expressive, delicious and intriguing. Read Agent Red’s tasting analysis and mission report , below.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Deeply dark garnet hues, with even coloration from the heart of the wine, right out to the ruby edges of the glass. When swirled, tall, skinny, wine-colored legs start high on the glass and then streak quickly downward.

Smell – Cherry and cigar box rush up to greet your nose. These sit atop blackberry, leather, dried meats, braised Mission fig, black cherry, dark raspberry and dark chocolate.

Feel – Cool and light on the initial attack. Then, the wine becomes softly dry and grippy as plush tannins take hold. Soft minerals and a balanced acidity add a softly chewy complexity on the palate.

Taste – Sweet red cherry and cranberry juice burst forth onto the palate. As these fade, they are replaced by blackberry, young strawberry, cigar box and dried red flower petals. As the wine opens up, it also revels leather, tobacco leaf, soft black pepper and a hint of mocha.

Finish – Very long and elegant, lead by juicy red cherry and cranberry that yield to darker and more earthen flavors.

Conclusion – This latest vintage of Jack Galante’s flagship 2006 Blackjack Pasture Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a stunner! Juicier and with more red fruit than in previous vintages, today’s wine is a delicious treat. This wine isn’t all bright fruit, though. It does a beautiful job of balancing its fruit against darker elements of tobacco, mocha, leather, dried meats and spice. Each sip I took of this wine was accompanied by the word, “Wow”. I am simply crazy about Jack’s latestBackjack, which shows nearly perfect balance – on the nose and on the palate. If you’ve never had the pleasure to sample a Galante wine, we warn you, this one will turn you into an instant devotee of all of Jack’s fantastic wines. We’ve known Jack for a long time, and we have been featuring his wines for the last five years. In all that time, we have only been impressed. Enjoy this wine now, but be sure to hold some for the next several years. This powerful wine will continue to improve for the next several years.

Mission Report:


AGENT RED: As always, Jack, thank you so much for allowing us to showcase your wines for these last four-plus years. It has been a pleasure and an honor to get to know you and to have enjoyed your wines.

JACK: Thank you, Agent Red. We love that your Operatives love our wines so much! Tell me, though, when will I finally get my own Agent name?

RED: You have one, already! It’s [REDACTED], but be careful who you reveal this to… Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.

JACK: The Blackjack Pasture is our signature Cabernet. It is a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 100% new French oak barrels. This wine comes from a specific vineyard block on our property in Carmel Valley. Our Blackjack is known for its chewy tannins and bold chocolate and black currant flavors. Although this wine drinks wonderfully now, it is extremely age worthy and would easily do well in your cellar for the next 5 to 10 years.

RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?

JACK: Hands down, a big, thick cowboy cut rib eye steak.

RED: In your opinion, what makes the Carmel Valley so special?

JACK: Our small appellation is known for its cool nights and warm dry days. Although we are close to the coast – only 10 miles as the hawk flies – we are not subject to the well known Monterey fogs. We are in our own little mountain valley that is influenced by the coastal coolness but sheltered from the fog so our Bordeaux varietals do extremely well.

RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

JACK: Racking wine and pruning the vines.

RED: Thank you so much for your time. The Wine Spies remain loyal fans.

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of Galante Vineyards can be seen in thissatellite photo.

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