2007 Gallica Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1055424 99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 And speaking of flowery wines, the 2007 Gallica (96% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot) is a tiny production from a vineyard slightly above the Dalla Valle Vineyard in Oakville. Blended with 45% fruit from further south in the cooler area of Coombsville, as well as a small amount from a St. Helena vineyard. The wine was aged 21 months in two-thirds new French oak and bottled without filtration. Outrageously seamless in its opulence, this fragrant, dense purple Cabernet Sauvignon boasts a glorious nose of blueberries, black currants, licorice, lead pencil shavings, and spring flowers (violets perhaps, rather than roses?). Medium to full-bodied, powerful yet elegant, fabulously pure, textured, and layered, this is wine that builds incrementally in the mouth and finishes with a resounding intensity and purity. A classic and prodigious Cabernet Sauvignon, it should drink well for 20+ years. A new project from long-time Spottswoode winemaking assistant Rosemary Cakebread, she is off to a roaring start - make no mistake about that. The winery name obviously has a double meaning, in that Gallica is the earliest known cultivated species of the rose, utilized in French perfumeries. (RP)  (12/2010)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Firm, rich, intense and layered, this full-bodied red offers dried currant, black licorice, sage and dusty oak flavors that build together, showing a glimpse of dill and ending with a complex finish, defined by subtle elegance, finesse and nicely integrated tannins. (JL)  (6/2010)

K&L Notes

Wow! What a debut. This is the first vintage of Gallica, a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated Bordeaux-style blend that includes a small amount of violet-scented Cabernet Franc and a firming dose of Petit Verdot. Powerful yet graceful, the wine's allure begins with aromas of baking spice, dark chocolate, black tea, tobacco and pepper. AIts dark black and blue fruit flavors are framed by sweet French oak tannins and spice.

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Price: $249.99
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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.