Cakebread Merlot 2016
This is a savory, bold and structured wine, with a firm foundation. Hints of dried herbs, along with aromas of deep blackberry and black cherry, are evident along with mineral notes of crushed stone. The flavors are deeply concentrated with black plum, as well as fresh blackberries to match the nose. Freshness and acidity are followed by silky textures and refined, elegant tannins.
Blend: 82% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 6% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Franc
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2016 Merlot is made from 65% estate-grown fruit, with 50% coming from the Suscol Springs vineyard and 15% from the Cakebread Winery Ranch vineyard. It was aged 17 months in 44% new French oak. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it has a softly spoken nose of warm plums, blackberry pie and Black Forest cake with suggestions of menthol, tobacco and cloves. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is gently swathed in soft, plush tannins and has loads of juicy black fruits, lifted with a lively line of freshness and finishing with a minty kick.
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 to make his best offer, and Cakebread Cellars was born.
As the Cakebread family reflects upon the many profound changes in the wine industry over the last 33 years, such as innovative farming techniques and new methods of reaching out to consumers, they note that their key values have remained the same. Dedication to making the highest quality wines and a commitment to family has followed a continuum as their first small vineyard has grown into a thriving internationally distributed wine company.
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.