Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cakebread Cellars, Rutherford, Napa Valley, CA - red wine tasting



This was the winery that inspired the trip to Napa - Cakebread Cellars. I'd often seen their wine at Whole Foods, and it just sounded so delicious! And the owners' names are really Cakebread! Love it! A red wine tasting costs $30 for approximately five wines.

This was our first tasting of the day, and it was a great way to start the day. We made an appointment as we walked in, and were then shown to a large fermenting/gift shop room where we were given a splash of Rosé to clear our palates. Then another staff member took us to meet our pourer Jim, who was a hair stylist in San Francisco before he retired and moved with his wife to Napa.


We stepped into this amazing glass tasting room - I wish I had snapped a photo of it! But here are all of the wines we tasted on the red Wine Tasting Menu.



First up was Cakebread Cellars Merlot 2006, Napa Valley, which retails for $54/bottle at the winery. It is a blend of 87% Merlot, 9% Syrah, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Petit Verdot, and contains 14.1% alcohol. It was aged in 25% new French oak for 18 months.

Aroma - currants, black plum
Taste - currants, black tea, moderate tannins

A likeable wine, but not my favorite from Cakebread.



Second we tasted Cakebread Cellars Zinfandel 2007, Red Hills, Lake County, which retails for $39/bottle at the winery. It is 100% Zinfandel and contains 15.5% alcohol. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged for 17 months in new and seasoned French oak barrels.

Aroma - black fruit
Taste - black fruit, light pepper, strong tannins

Zinfandel is one of my favorite varietals, and I liked this one.



Third was Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Napa Valley, which retails for $65/bottle at the winery. It is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Malbec, and contains 14.2% alcohol. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged for 20 months in 35% new French oak.

Aroma - black fruit, a little vegetal
Taste - black fruit, strong tannins, black tea finish, long finish, well-rounded

A nice wine!



Fourth was Dancing Bear Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Howell Mountain, which retails for $106/bottle at the winery. It is a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Franc, and contains 14.8% alcohol. It was aged for 26 months in 60% new French oak.

Aroma - black fruit, dried fruit
Taste - black fruit, black tea, strong tannins, very smooth, very long finish

A fantastic wine!



The last wine we tasted here was Cakebread Cellars Syrah 2007, Carneros, Napa Valley, which retails for $51/bottle at the winery. It contains 100% Syrah and 15.1% alcohol. It was fermented in small tanks and aged for 15 months in a combination of new and seasoned French oak.

Aroma - fruit and meat (roast beef) - this is a BIG wine!
Taste - big, smoky, fruity, strong tannins, astringent, smoky finish

Definitely not my favorite wine of the bunch, but if you're a big Syrah fan you'll love it!

We then asked Jim which other wineries we should visit, and he suggested Chimney Rock, Stag's Leap Cellars or Vineyards, Heartwell, Silver Oak, Nickle and Nickle, Far Niente, and Plumpjack.

Cakebread was a great stop - don't miss it if you're up in Napa!

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