Thursday, November 12, 2009

2005 Galante Pinot Noir Almond Flat

Don't squat with your spurs on.

After our last Galante wine review, we were pretty excited to try their take on Pinot Noir.  But maybe cowboy philosophy translates better to Cabernet than to Pinot.

According to Galante's website, this wine is "...very Burgundian with big, bold flavors or dark plum and Moroccan spice."

Yes, it's Burgundian in style, which is to say that it lacks the fruit that is synonymous with California Pinot.  But if you're looking for Burgundian style, why not just pick up a Burgundy?  Wine should taste like where it came from.

And Moroccan spice?  That's a new one.  But sure enough, there's some unusual spice in this wine.  Last we checked though, that wasn't a flavor commonly attributed to vineyard conditions, let alone grapes.

On opening, it's very tightly wound - closed - with an almost astringent quality. Decanted and let sit for a few hours didn't change it much except to harden the texture. Despite these shortcomings, there's no question that this is the product of disciplined winemaking, though one can't help but question the quality of the raw materials that went into it.

This was a disappointment.  Not just because it's not a pleasing wine to drink, but because we know Galante is capable of so much more.

We paid $25 plus shipping for this wine direct from the winery.  Which is kind of like squatting with your spurs on.

Rating: Bummer, but might appeal to lovers of California Pinot masquerading as Burgundy.

In response to this review, Jack Galante, President of Galante Vineyards, sent this note:
All accurate, although of course I disagree with the evaluation. Definitely bolder than most Pinots on the market – that is what makes it a Cabernet drinker’s Pinot. Our early Pinots (2004-2006) tend to have more tannins than we have been seeing in the 2007 and beyond since they were younger vines. We have found that the longer aging time has improved this considerably and that the wines are really nice paired with the right foods. It is one of our more popular wines and is just about sold out. The Burgundian characteristics derive from the clones which are originally from DRC. Personally I am not a fan of the cherry like, light bodied California style Pinots. That is the great thing about wine – there are flavors for everyone!
Best Regards,
Jack
That is the great thing about wine! (And what a class act.)