As the old cowboy saying goes, “You can’t reason with a kickin’ mule.” Serving as a reminder of this axiom, Kick Ass Cabernet is a deep and complex blended red wine with a full flavor–which, at a price point of under $20–defies reasonable expectations.
Produced by Galante Vineyards (18181 Cachagua Road) in California’s pristine Carmel Valley, Kick Ass is actually 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, combined into a fruity-yet-earthy elixir sensationally suited for the cool, comforting breeze of a Pacific sunset. And a happy pairing that is, considering that their tasting room in Carmel-By-The-Sea is right off US 1 on the way down to the incomparable, sweeping vistas of Big Sur.
Anytime I make the drive down from the Bay Area to this scenic wonderland, I am certain to stop here for a sip of something special. While I usually head out to craggy beaches of Big Sur with a couple of $15 bottles of Kick Ass, it never hurts to take a taste of their marvelous Blackjack Pasture Cabernet Sauvignon. Rich and impossibly complex, it has that intoxicatingly dry finish, the hallmark of the varietal. At $50 a pop, this all-star could compete with Napa and Sonoma wines 2-3 times its price.
The Carmel Valley, with its cool air and lush, undulating topography, is an oft-overlooked region for quality juice. Galante Vineyards is but one of a handful of locally-grown estate wines that any connoisseur could appreciate. Their family-run tasting room is open daily from noon until 6PM. To make group reservations, call them directly at (831) 624 3800.
The Galantes have something of a legacy in this town, considering that it was proprietor Jack Galante’s great grandfather who actually founded the town of Carmel in the early 20th Century. And while his ancestors might have put the town on the map, it’s the family business that helps keep Carmel an alluring destination for adventurers and wine-lovers alike.