Since 1981, Cakebread Cellars has worked hand-in-hand with the Phillips Family, owners of the highly acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards grown at their Vine Hill Ranch in Oakville. Their vineyards are situated along the gently sloping western foothills known as the "benchlands." The grapes from this property have a long history of producing an elegant, rich wine that until now has been reserved exclusively for our finest cabernet blends.
Following the example of the outstanding 1997 vintage, the 1998 Cakebread Cellars' Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested a vineyard block at a time over a two-week period. We then kept the wine made from each block separate as each one is grown on a different rootstock, creating decidedly different flavors and aromas. Working with separate, small lots of wine from this vintage, Winemaker Bruce Cakebread then assembled the best and most representative Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon possible.
The 1998 Vine Hill Ranch has aromas of red berries, cedar, vanilla and a touch of oak. Hints of blackberries, blueberries, herbs, black pepper and vanilla show on the palate. Following tradition, this Cakebread Cellars' reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a wonderful integration of rich, ripe black-fruit flavors, a soft, round texture and a finish of firm, lingering tannins.
More than simply highlighting the fruit from an exceptional vineyard in an excellent growing year, the Cakebread and Phillips' families regard this second release of Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon as a tribute to their decades-long relationship.