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Gallo of Sonoma Stefani Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 1998

Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
  • WE91
0% ABV
  • WE91
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Winemaker Notes

This top seller sports intense cassis and black cherry aromas complimented by cedary, spicy flavors in the finish. If only all Sonoma Cabernets were this affordable and delicious!

Originally planted by the Stefani family at the turn of the century, this vineyard is located in the heart of the Canyon Valley, a southwest-northeast corridor connecting Sonoma County's Dry Creek and Alexander Valley. Here, soils consist of as much as 30% gravel and small stones; a combination of Pleasanton and Clough series.

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes for this wine were 100% Estate Grown and hand harvested. To intensify varietal character, we employed site-specific vertical trellising, and meticulous shoot and leaf removal to ensure that grape clusters received just the right amount of sunlight exposure for optimal ripening.

The hand harvested clusters were de-stemmed but not crushed, to increase the percentage of whole berries in the fermenter and reduce the potential for bitter tannin extraction. Once dry, the wine was aged in French, European and American oak barrels for an average of 24 months to enhance bouquet, flavor, and body.

The wine completed malolactic fermentation, and was bottled unfined and with minimal filtration

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
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Gallo of Sonoma

Gallo of Sonoma

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Gallo of Sonoma, Sonoma County, California
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The Gallo family tradition in Sonoma County began in the 1930's when Matt and Gina Gallo's grandfather, Julio, recognized the potential of winemaking in Sonoma. The Gallo family now owns eight vineyards in Sonoma County. These vineyards represent a cross-section of Sonoma's diverse micro-climates, thereby adding to the complexity and rich flavors of the award-winning Gallo of Sonoma wines.

Gallo of Sonoma wines represent the best of what Sonoma County has to offer. They are crafted with pride by Matt and Gina Gallo, Third Generation Family Winemakers in Sonoma County, California's premier winegrowing region.

50-50 Give-Back Plan
More than just a caretaker of the vines, Julio Gallo believed that his family had an obligation to protect the land by planting vineyards in a way that would preserve the local environment. His first step in accomplishing this task was to set aside as wildlife habitat one acre of property for every acre planted to vineyard in Sonoma County. Today, Julio's grandson, Matt, continues this 50-50 Give-Back Plan, managing a 6,000 acre property portfolio that balances 3,000 acres of planted vineyard with 3,000 acres of natural habitat.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

WWH32E04W2_1998 Item# 60718