Our Napa Valley Chardonnay offers fresh, lovely pear and ripe Granny Smith apple aromas with supporting mineral, baked bread and baking spice scents. Full and richly textured on the palate, the citrusy crisp, spiced-apple and pear flavors are enriched by yeast and toasty oak tones that extend into a very long, rich, minerally finish. Youthfully compact, with superb structure and an ideal balance of fresh fruit, acid and wood tones, this beautiful Napa Valley Chardonnay, one of Cakebread's very best, should develop in the bottle for another 3 to 5 years.
Wine Spectator 88 points - Pure and clean, this is marked by zesty citrus, green pear and apple notes, presented in a tight formation and ending with snappy freshness. Drink now. 30,000 cases made.-JL
(Jun 15 2014)
Wine Advocate 88 points - The attractive 2012 Chardonnay reminded me of Chardonnays from the 1970s and early 1980s. The wine was aged in French oak for eight months, but you would never know that from the aromatics and flavors. With delicate, crisp citrus, this fresh, lively, Chablis-like effort reveals a hint of minerality. Drink it over the next 2-3 years. (Oct 2014)
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Our 2012 Napa Valley Chardonnay offers delightfully fragrant, slightly yeasty aromas of ripe pear, apple and guava fruit complemented by hints of honeysuckle, mineral and toasted oak. It likewise hits the mark on the palate, delivering sensationally concentrated pear, spiced apple and melon flavors that culminate in a long finish lifted by zesty spice and mineral tones. Bold and beautifully balanced, with great depth and breadth of flavor, our 2012 Chardonnay is a delicious expression of a picture-perfect vintage. It will continue to please over the next 3-5 years.
Wine maker notes
Our Chardonnay fruit was 100% whole-cluster-pressed to minimize astringency from the skins. Pressing the fruit cold assures even lower extraction of astringent compounds, which also increases the long term aging potential in white wines. Three quarters of the juice was barrel fermented in 35% new French oak barrels at 50-55º F, a slow, cool fermentation that fostered a perfect balance of ripe fruit, yeast, natural acidity and toasty oak. The remaining portion was fermented in stainless steel tanks, with those lots transferred to barrel once fermentation completed. While barrel fermentation promotes complexity and richness, tank fermentation maximizes fruit intensity. Partial malolactic fermentation, primarily of the higher acid lots, further enhanced the harmony of these elements. During nine months of barrel aging, the wines were frequently hand stirred to promote the integration of fruit, yeast, acid and oak, resulting in a beautifully balanced Chardonnay of elegant richness.
The Cakebreads show their commitment to quality through their years of family teamwork, their stewardship of the land, their care in growing and vinifying individual lots of grapes for each wine and their public programs for healthy living. The result is a world-class winery that crafts distinctive wines and welcomes dedicated visitors year after year.