A pronounced spice-blackberry fragrance with a hint of vanilla leads into this wine's full-bodied, velvety palate with flavors of cassis and ripe berries, and notes of licorice and chocolate set in a supple yet firm structure.
Wine Advocate 92 points - It is hard to find fault with a wine such as Cakebread Cellars’ 2012 Merlot. This gorgeous effort represents everything this grape can produce. It exhibits a dense purple color, lots of sweet black cherry and mocha-infused fruit, and caresses the palate with an opulence and richness that are hard to resist. The wine’s beautiful purity, stunning texture, and overall ripeness and sexiness are what Merlot is all about. Medium to full-bodied and beautifully balanced, it can be drunk now and over the next 7-8 years. Bravo! (Oct 2014)
Over 30 years ago, Jack Cakebread came to Napa to photograph for a book. He casually mentioned an interest in owning a vineyard to some family friends. When he returned home, the phone rang and it was his friend offering to sell their property. Jack headed back up to the valley the next day and Cakebread Cellars was born. To make Benchland select the winemaker ferments the fruit from each vineyard separately and then blends them together to form the perfect Napa Valley Cabernet. Cakebread uses Bordeaux technique called rack-and-return, in which fermenting juice is drained from one tank and transferred to another, leaving the cap' of grape skins in the first tank to fall to the bottom.
|Wine maker notes
|The grapes are hand harvested, destemmed and crushed, and each vineyard lot is maintained separately. Before initiating fermentation, the must and skins are soaked at cool temperatures. Cold-soaking intensifies both the color and flavors of the finished wine. Fermentation is then set off with selected yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and lasts for a period of six to seven days. During the initial stages of fermentation, the must is aerated by draining the wine from the fermenters and then returning it, a process called "rack and return." This stimulates the production of phenolic compounds which smooth and soften the tannins. These two techniques yield a wine of deep, full color and excellent fresh, fruity varietal flavors without harsh tannins.
Following completion of the alcoholic fermentation, the wine is pressed from the skins and returned to stainless steel tanks for full malolactic fermentation. It is then racked into French oak barrels, roughly half of which are new and the balance of one and two years' use, for approximately eighteen months depending on the vintage.
|GRAPE VARIETY: 80% Merlot,
20% Cabernet Sauvignon
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 13.5%-14.5%
TOTAL ACIDITY: 0.60g-0.65g/100ml
RESIDUAL SUGAR: 0.05g-0.10g/100ml
|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.