The first wine produced by Cakebread Cellars was a Chardonnay from the 1973 vintage, and this varietal has become the most widely appreciated of its range. Grapes are sourced from Napa's best Chardonnay microclimates: the southernmost section of the Napa Valley, and the Carneros region, cool-climate areas recognized for the superb quality of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir they produce. These vineyards, which Cakebread directly manages, are planted in a variety of clones which lend the wine depth and complex aromas. Because the different clones ripen at different rates in different vineyard sites, harvest may begin as early as the first of September and last until mid-October. The grapes are harvested at night or in the early hours of the morning, when the fruit is coolest. Fermentation can then begin with very little, if any, cooling.
Cakebread Cellars' Napa Valley Chardonnay is light straw in color with a glint of gold. Its aromas are reminiscent of green apples and the faint scent of apricots with a clean scent of mineral suggestive of flint. These impressions are repeated on the palate with a very slight buttery finish and a subtle hint of French oak vanillin in the background. Good depth with an ideal balance of fruit and crisp acidity lead into a fresh, silky finish.
This wine was wonderful. It was one of the best whites I have had to date. The flavor kept on giving and giving. It was light as air yet with a nice fresh body. I had this at a French Bistro.
I asked my husband to help me write a review of this wine, and all he could say was, "Oh my God!" We aren't big fans of Chardonnays, but this one stole our hearts. After our first bottle, we immediately went online and bought 3 more bottles. Smooth, not overly acidic, with a nice, creamy finish. A great value for the $$$.