This limited production wine represents the fourth vintage of Syrah from Cakebread Cellars. Available only through the winery, only 192 cases of this concentrated and complex 100% varietal wine were produced.
The 2000 growing season was a winemakers dream. Except for a brief hot spell in mid-June, Napa Valley experienced a mild summer with cool evenings, resulting in slow, steady ripening and optimum fruit quality and flavors. Additionally, yields were lower than anticipated and grape seed and skin maturity occurred at lower than normal sugar levels. These factors also enhanced color and flavor development.
The grapes come from select vineyards in the Carneros region having a west facing slope and chalky soils, Napa Valleys southernmost appellation. The regions moderate temperatures are a result of its proximity to San Pablo Bay, predominant afternoon winds and summer fog that creeps into the vineyards at night. This ideal climate, together with a wide variety of soil types, allows many different grape varieties to thrive there, including the cooler climate Syrah.
Fermentation & Aging:
The 2000 Cakebread Cellars Syrah was made using traditional red wine fermentation techniques. Open top fermenting tanks are used, allowing for gentle, manual punch downs and pumpovers. The grape must is first cold soaked prior to fermentation to maximize color and flavor development. At the start of fermentation the must is pumped over three times a day to aerate and encourage yeast development. The number of pump overs is then gradually decreased as fermentation continues so that complete extraction of color and flavors is achieved without adding unnecessary bitterness from the seeds. The wine is then aged for 12 months in 100% new French oak barrels prior to bottling.
In the glass, a deep, dark purple color gives you a hint of whats to come. Bold aromas of wild dark berries mix with black pepper, cinnamon and clove spices in the nose. Forward blackberry jam and peppery spice flavors come through on the palate, while long, spicy, velvet finish leaves a lasting impression. Drinkable now, this gutsy wine will also continue to age gracefully and provide years of drinking enjoyment.