1996 Gallo of Sonoma Frei Ranch - Printable Version

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- newsguy - 07-31-2001

Oops. Make that 1996 Gallo of Sonoma Frei Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.99). A purplish red color, with a little browning at the edges. Let sit for an hour then sniffed: Nose of sweet red fruit, alcohol. Good forward red fruit (cherries?) taste, fairly soft tannins, with a medium-length finish that gave up a hint of spice and cedar. After another 30 minutes or so, really started to notice mint on the finish.

This is a much softer wine than Gallo's Barrelli Creek Cab. The Frei Ranch is very drinkable now, and I'd guess will probably be at its peak in 2-3 years. Good juice, but if I had to choose, I'd go with the Barrelli Creek hands down (although it really is like comparing apples and oranges).

BTW, still waiting for the '97 Barrelli Creek Cab to appear down here in Florida. We've had the zin for months, but no sign of the cab. Did those of you in more northerly climes buy the whole vintage [img][/img]

P.S. Drew, if you still have my e-mail, please get in touch. Thanks.

[This message has been edited by newsguy (edited 08-01-2001).]

- Innkeeper - 07-31-2001

"......a little browning at the edges", doesn't compute with " its peak in 2-3 years"!!!!!!!!!

- winoweenie - 08-01-2001

Newsguy, sounds like you got aholt' of a bad bottle of the 96 Frei. IMHO the 94, 95,and 96 Frei are all elegant wines that are still 4-5 years from peaking if properly stored. The Barilli is more masculine than the Frei, but both are super wines. The Stephani mite be the best of all later on. None-the-nebber, all IMHO are outstanding bottlings for the buck. WW

- newsguy - 08-01-2001


I'm fairly new to the wine scene. I know that cabs get brown/brickish in color as they age, but this wine definitely was not brown in the body of the glass. it did, however, seem that the color looked a little brown at the rim. but that might just be because of how i check the color: under a fairly bright light, with a white background behind the wine.

like i said, the tannins seemed pretty soft, but also seemed like they had a little ways to go (at least to me).

what do you think? am i not really seeing some browning here, or does that mean this bottle is close to peaking now?


i got this bottle at probably the biggest wine dealer in these parts: B-21 in tarpon springs. but this bottle had been out on the shelves for probably a year, and they keep their store temperature in the upper 60s i'd guess. so this stock might have aged a little prematurely on the shelf.

- winoweenie - 08-01-2001


- Innkeeper - 08-01-2001

Sorry Newsy if ah ruffed them fetheas, but jus seemed to me that you couldn get theah from heah.

- newsguy - 08-02-2001


no ruffled feathers at all. my response and questions to you were sincere, not meant to come off as defensive. i'm trying to learn here and develop my palate and knowledge, and you folks on this board are helping tremendously.

ALSO: as for this wine, something very odd (at least to me) happened. had nearly half the bottle the first night. then put it to bed in the fridge with the vacu-vin. had a glass the next night. wine had mellowed a bit, no major changes. then finished off the bottle last night (after 2 nights w/ the VV) and was i surprised. it seemed like the fruit flavors on the wine were even more prominent than the first night. i've had wines be better, worse or the same on the second day, but i've NEVER had a wine improve on Day 3. anybody else ever experience this phenomenon? anyone know why this might happen?

- Innkeeper - 08-02-2001

Based on the evidence provided, it must have been the light that caused the color to appear brown. As you may have now deducted the color brown in wine sets off bells and whistles. Consequently, therefore (as my ole trig teacher used to say) your 2-3 year assessment could well be right on.

- newsguy - 08-02-2001

thanks, IK. like i say, i'm trying to learn and appreciate any and all input.