Our 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of superior grapes from throughout the valley’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon appellations, with 95% coming from the warmer northern region of the valley and 5% from the cooler Carneros district in the south. Sourcing fruit from multiple, diverse microclimates allows us to craft a rich, yet elegant Cabernet Sauvignon that marries the lush black fruit character and sturdy tannins typical of the valley’s warmer northern microclimates with the bright fruit tones and crisp acidity characteristic of its cooler southern reaches. In 2009, we blended in 13% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot to amplify the complexity of this classic Napa Valley red.
In 2009, plentiful spring rains in Northern California deferred the need for early irrigation, resulting in small berries with deeply concentrated flavors. Summer was consistently cool, which allowed for slow, steady ripening and the parallel development of grape sugars and flavors, fostering maturity at moderate sugar levels and resulting in superbly balanced wines. We harvested the grapes for our 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon between September 28th and October 21st with an exemplary balance of ripe fruit flavors, supple tannins and bright acidity.
The key to the quality of Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is the specialized care we lavish on each component of the blend. Our 2009 bottling is a cepage of dozens of lots of grapes, each separately harvested, crushed, fermented and barrel-aged. Each lot was cold-soaked prior to fermentation for between 36 and 48 hours to enhance extraction of color and flavor. We then fermented and aged the lots separately, tailoring tank size, yeast strain, fermentation temperature and barrel type to the fruit character of each lot. Some of the wines underwent an extended maceration (keeping the fully fermented wine on its skins for several weeks to extract more flavor and soften tannins) while others were pressed off the skins immediately. Each lot spent six months aging in French oak barrels, 35% new, prior to blending. The blended wine aged another 12 months in barrel prior to bottling in May, 2011.
Fragrant boysenberry, blackberry, dark cherry, cassis and Mission fig aromas comprise the fresh, fruitful nose of our 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The first sip of the wine reveals a big, boldly structured Cabernet with deeply concentrated black fruit flavors and intriguing dusty, loamy and mineral-y tones that add wonderful dimension and complexity. Boasting an undercurrent of soft, plush fruit that will emerge further with aging, this sophisticated, yet approachable Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon will reward another 5-7 years’ cellaring.