The maverick of wine producers in Carmel-by-the-Sea is no doubt Galante Vineyards because it was not only the first tasting room to open here, it remains one of the few to pour different varietals. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay naturally thrive in any coastal region and Carmel is no exception. But just a few miles east is Carmel Valley where the Galante wine gang grows Rhone varietals like Viognier and Bordeaux varietals like Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Their Sauvignon Blanc has a whisper of Viognier, making it a big bold white wine with crisp acidity. Its tropical apricot and lemon meringue bring both acids and sweetness while the long finish brings you back for another glass. Their Viognier has a white floral nose that leads right to Hawaii when you taste its tropical mango, banana, and nectarines body. A slight minerality lends itself to its tropical feel but it remains sweet yet tart.
Their 100% estate and 100% Cabernet Sauvignon shows just how much true grit you can get from this region. This cool climate cab is like a meal in a glass. Just enough bell pepper, eucalyptus, and fireside smoke make the brighter red fruit harmonize with the plum and berry. The cassis is just like sauce that makes the meat succulent. This meaty wine gives you a reason to order a spicy sausage pizza with peppers or bring it to a spicy chipotle barbecue rib party to be the main event.