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Cakebread Cellars produced its first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon in 1974. The sources for this wine have remained very constant over the years, and their stability of supply has yielded wines of consistent complexity and character from vintage to vintage. The grapes are sourced from vineyards, including Cakebread's own Rutherford estate, located primarily in the Rutherford and neighboring Oakville appellations, with smaller supplies of fruit from the Stags' Leap, Carneros and St. Helena growing areas. Microclimates sited both on slopes and the valley floor each contribute unique characteristics to the wine. Harvest is typically late, beginning in late September and concluding by late October.
The grapes are hand harvested, destemmed and immediately crushed, and each vineyard lot is fermented separately with selected yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks over a period of six to seven days. Each lot of grapes is frequently tasted during fermentation to determine when the extraction is at optimum. At that point, the wine is pressed off the skins in membrane wine presses, keeping the press wine separate from the free-run wine. In this way, Cakebread Cellars' red wines, especially the Cabernets, have their natural fruitiness preserved, while the extraction of harsh, drying tannins is avoided. It is then pressed and returned to stainless steel for complete malolactic fermentation. Following this, the wine is racked into French oak barrels, of which roughly half are new and half of one and two years' use for approximately six months.
Cakebread's Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is clear, dark garnet in color with complex, spicy, cedar-like scents and background aromas of cassis and dark berries. On the palate, the texture is rich and smooth with flavors reminiscent of cassis with a hint of chocolate set in a structure of balanced fruit and tannin. These flavors are confirmed on the finish, which is marked by rich, ripe fruit and discreet impressions of oak and spice.
Over 30 years ago, Jack Cakebread came to photograph the Napa Valley for a book and while there, he casually mentioned his interest in one day owning a vineyard to some family friends who had a ranch in Rutherford. When he returned home that afternoon, the phone rang and it was the family friends offering to sell their property. He headed back up to the valley that same afternoon...Read More About Cakebread
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard...Read More About Napa Valley
(cab-uhr-NAY sow-veeh-yawn) King of Red Many refer to Cabernet Sauvignon as the king of red grapes. Perhaps that title is due to its ability to grow worldwide in a number of climates, or to the fact that it produces wine with such character yet such diversity. Either way, this grape is responsible, as a whole or a partner, for some of the greatest wines in the world. In Bordeaux,...Read More About Cabernet Sauvignon
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