The Tasting Panel magazine

Oct 09

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80 / the tasting panel / october 2009 T he introspective, highly skilled Gina Gallo exudes her love of Sonoma County in ways that go beyond the expected. As the family's third-generation winemak- er, she has quietly maintained and trained the roots that her grandfa- ther, Julio, along with Gallo team veteran Marcello Monticelli, had set before her. Although she is one of the family's most notable per- sonalities and is often featured as Gallo's public image, Gina remains modestly mindful of her role in the grand scheme of things. After graduating from the U.C. Davis winemaking program, Gina trained under the aforementioned masters, learning lessons that a lifetime of study could never uncover. After three vintages in training, Gina completed her first full harvest as winemaker. Now, in tandem with her equally skilled brother, Matt, she is celebrating the past, present and future of So- noma County as one of the world's premium winegrowing regions. Together, the siblings are creating the family's best wines, ever. In our September meeting, I tasted an array of wines that prove the point (see tasting notes). As an industry leader, Gina is active in countless trade organiza- tions and charitable associations. She sits on the board of the Atlan- ta-based Women's Chefs and Res- taurateurs, for example. Cognizant of how food and wine are comple- mentary pursuits, Gina comments, "I think the food industry makes the wine business complete; wines in the U.S. have evolved with grass- roots culinary movements à la Alice Waters, with the different cuisines." As one of the standard bearers of this important wine family's name, Gina Gallo knows that she can never be presumptuous, simply because she is so notable. She remains steadfastly confident as she nurtures the future of Sonoma County. Winemaker Profile Gina Gallo: Nurturing the Roots of Sonoma County by Wilfred Wong G allo Family Vineyards has climbed into the big league of California's finest ultra-premium producers. With the excel- lent wines made by the vineyard/winemak- ing team of siblings Matt and Gina Gallo, there is no stopping this Sonoma County juggernaut. With this sixpack of goodies, one doesn't have to leave the "ranch" to enjoy the world's best wines. Gallo Family Vineyards 2007 Two Rock Chardonnay ($28) Pretty, fresh peach aromas, tangy, minerally flavors; crisp aftertaste. 90 points Gallo Family Vineyards 2006 Lagu- na Ranch Chardonnay ($28) Creamy, long and luscious; firm, apple core fruit flavors; a touch of oak in the finish. 91 Gallo Family Vineyards 2007 Estate Chardon- nay ($50) Big, rich aromas of ripe fruit and hazel- nuts; long and fancy on the palate; long aftertaste. 93 Gallo Family Vineyards 2006 Frei Ranch Cab- ernet Sauvignon ($40) Classic aromas of dust, black fruit and graphite; firm and well built on the palate. 91 Gallo Family Vineyards 2006 Barrelli Creek Cabernet Sauvignon ($40) Bright red fruit aroma; lively palate, elegant and persistent; long, red currant finish. 91 Gallo Family Vineyards 2005 Estate Caber- net Sauvignon ($85) Complex aromas of black fruit and licorice; sturdy and classy on the palate; young and savory. 90 Tasting Notes: Gallo Family Vineyards' Best Bets

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