In 2002, Napa Valley enjoyed a long, mild growing season of consistently warm days and cool nights, with just a few manageable heat spikes in late September and early October. With an expectation of healthy yields, many growers significantly thinned their crops and pruned shoots and leaves extensively to guarantee the vines put all their energy into ripening the remaining grape clusters, ensuring highly concentrated, complex fruit flavors. Cakebread Cellars further maximized grape quality by using advanced soil moisture management techniques to precisely calibrate the amount of water required by the vines at critical junctures throughout the season.
The grapes for our 2002 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon,
blended with 11% Merlot and
After being crushed and cold-soaked for 24-36 hours, each vineyard lot was fermented separately in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, at warm temperatures, to fully extract color and flavor. The fermentations completed in seven days, with an extended maceration of 21 additional days to maximize extraction and enhance the wine's structure. The free run juice of each lot was then drained and transferred to French oak barrels, 65% new, for aging. During this period, each lot was tasted regularly to assess its aroma and flavor development, varietal character, ripeness and richness levels, and oak character. In spring, 2003, the chosen lots were blended and aged an additional 14 months in barrel before bottling in July 2004.
Cakebread Cellars 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon boasts an enticing aroma of ripe black cherry, berry and currant fruit complemented by scents of vanilla, sweet herbs, cocoa, and coffee bean. On the palate, the wine's lush, deep, mouth-filling berry and cassis flavors carry a hint of tea-leaf spiciness and are seamlessly balanced by firm, supple tannins, leading to a lusciously long, rich, oak-enhanced finish. Delicious to drink now, this classic Napa Valley Cabernet will continue to develop for another 5-7 years in bottle.