But it was a treat to share a meal with Rosemary herself on my recent trip to Napa and drink a bottle of her 2008 cabernet that she so graciously provided. Gallica is a small production operation. The 2012 cabernet, a vintage that was large for most producers, only yielded 391 cases. I didn’t ask how many cases of the 2008 Rosemary produced, but it’s bound to be less than that. With such small production levels, it’s easier for a winemaker to pay close attention to each barrel and lot. And this type of attention to detail comes through in her winemaking style. She produces wines of extraordinary quality that exhibit a depth of flavor and balance that is hard to come by, since it’s not always a popular style.
You’d think it would be, but in this, wine isn’t different from many other businesses. To produce anything at this level, it usually requires two things: commitment and quality ingredients (read more money). A lot of businesses have one or the other. They either come with great passion to provide something unique and to do it better than anyone else but without sufficient funding to make it happen; or they come with a lot of money but no clue how to provide a good product, or they ebb and flow with the tide looking to gain the biggest return on their investment. But the best producers, in wine as in anything else, have a vision and stick with it no matter what. And they have the means to be committed to that vision despite the changing tides of consumer tastes.
In my opinion, Rosemary brings that passion to Gallica and has stood by her vision of producing “balanced and expressive wines which represent the best of a particular vintage.” I admire that. And it shows in her wines. The 2008 cabernet sauvignon had deep black fruits balanced by earthy red currants, spice and just a hint of a smoky quality that sung beautifully. If you ever get a chance to try a bottle of this small production wine, don’t pass it up.