Ghost Pines Cabernet 2008: Who Would’ve Thought?

ghost pinesIf you’ve read even a few of my posts, you know that I strongly favor family-owned wineries. In fact, I shun the corporate-owned places like the plague. So why am I writing about Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, which is vaguely related to Louis Martini Winery, which is in turn vaguely related to Ernest & Julio’s own Gallo. Ghost Pines tries to look family-owned, but I have the sneaking suspicion that Ghost Pines Winery is “family-owned” the way Donald Trump is a “landlord.”

So what? Why do I make an issue of corporate ownership?

Because in my experience, corporate-owned wine lacks passion, while family-owned wine shows commitment and authenticity in every sip.

But I’ll be darned if Ghost Pines Cab didn’t shake my prejudice just a little bit. First, the label uses a fairly unusual appellation designation. It shows “Napa County 50%, Sonoma County 50%.” Why point that out? Isn’t a single appellation supposed to designate quality? Apparently these young winemakers didn’t get the memo, because they believe that blending select lots from different appellations produces a better, richer, more complex wine. They’ll incorporate fruit from different vineyards, different appellations, even different varietals!

And I’d have to agree. Ghost Pines 2008 Cab shows elegance and weight at the same time, and that’s apparently the result of blending Napa County grapes (which add elegance and structure) with Sonoma County fruit (which brings richness, depth, and power).The nose shows classic Cab aromas of blackberries, vanilla and toast, and the palate offers rich, jammy fruitĀ  with some spice and cocoa. The finish has enough grip for an age-worthy Cab, without turning your mouth inside out.

The overall package is really fun to drink, and it’s presented at a price point (just under $20) that 2010 wine drinkers can appreciate.

I hope this isn’t the beginning of a trend. I don’t want to enjoy corporate-made wines! But call me a sucker on this one — I Like!

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