Our Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon blends grapes from throughout the valley’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon appellations. Sourcing fruit from multiple, diverse microclimates allows us to craft a sumptuous, elegant Cabernet Sauvignon that melds the opulent black fruit character and firm tannins typical of the valley’s warmer northern microclimates with the bright fruit tones and crisp acidity characteristic of its cooler southern precincts.
The topsy-turvy 2008 growing season seesawed from heavy winter rains to early spring drought to severe frosts in late March and throughout April. Coupled with inclement weather during bloom and stress-inducing heat during grape set, these conditions significantly reduced the size of the grape crop throughout Napa Valley, greatly concentrating flavors. Clear, mild summer weather, with warm days and cool nights, provided ideal conditions for fully maturing our Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, which were harvested between September 26th and October 16th with a perfect balance of sugar and 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. The 2008 vintage is a cepage of 36 distinct lots of grapes, each separately harvested, crushed, fermented and barrel-aged. Each lot was cold-soaked prior to fermentation from 36 to 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, 42% new, prior to blending. The blended wine aged another 14 months in barrel prior to bottling in July, 2010.
The wonderfully pure, pretty nose of our 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon is redolent of warm berry cobbler, with lovely toasted boysenberry and blackberry scents joined by hints of wild cherry, loamy earth and oak vanillin. On the supple, beautifully structured palate, the wine offers rich, vibrant blackberry, plum and black cherry flavors framed by perfectly integrated tannins and a long, savory finish. Delicious now, this elegantly sumptuous Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon will develop further nuance with another 5-7 years’ bottle age.