Katy Rutland
October 15, 2014 | Wine Features | Katy Rutland

FAQ: Galet, the Best a Man Can Drink

“So what on earth is a galet?”


This question comes with a whole host of pronunciations. Gah-leht, gah-lay, gill-ay, jih-lay, and (the author’s personal favorite) jih-let, like the razor. There’s always a risk when introducing a wine name that is not a wine grape, and the 2009 Signature Series Galet is the perfect example, barely beating out the 2009 Signature Series Batholith for the number of “what?” questions it causes.


“So what on earth is a batholith?”


Both wines, like most of Terra Blanca’s blends, are named after geological terms. See, our Winemaker Keith Pilgrim has a master’s in geology from U.C. Davis, so he pulls that into his wine as an added uniqueness. Even our winery’s name, Terra Blanca, is Latin for “white earth,” named for the white hue our soil has from a high chalk content.


For the Galet, the rock that bears the same name is French. A galet is a river-deposited stone frequently found in the Syrah vineyards of southern Rhone. In laymen’s terms, it’s a river rock similar to the ones found along the shores of the Columbia and Yakima Rivers. They make great skipping stones.


Gives new meaning to “minerality” in wine, doesn’t it?


If you haven’t yet been able to try the 2009 Signature Series Galet, get to the Tasting Room quickly! Last count showed we only have about 10 cases left before it goes to Library. Because of its uniqueness, it’s certainly worth the trip to our small corner of the world.


As a Southern Rhone red blend, the Galet is made of five varietals, most of which are very uncommon in the United States. Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Cinsault, and Counoise make up this light and earthy wine. Never seen them before? You’re not alone. Syrah and Grenache are the most widely grown of those five varietals in the United States, and the least common four (everything but Syrah) are starting to crop up as single varietals in Washington.


We started this with a pronunciation issue. So how on earth do you actually pronounce “Galet”?


The American pronunciation is gah-leht while the French is gah-lay, and both put the emphasis on the second syllable. Want to really impress your friends? Know that Mourvedre is pronounced “moo‑ved-druh” or “moo-vay-dray.”


Speaking of Mourvedre, the 2009 Signature Series Mourvedre only has about 2 cases left before it goes to the Library! We expect it to only last another two weeks, if that. The 2009 Signature Series Galet is in a similar situation. Get out to the Tasting Room quickly to try these two unique wines before they’re off the bar for good!


Want to never miss another limited release wine like these two? Join our Club ONYX today! With three different options to best suit your wine desires, Club ONYX is an excellent way to stay connected while receiving amazing wines. Tell them Katy sent you!


Veni, Vidi, Vinum!

Terra Blanca


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