One of Napa’s great historic wineries, Cakebread Cellars has celebrated over 40 years in wine. The winery was first founded by Jack and Dolores Cakebread. Continued to be run by the Cakebread family, Dennis Cakebread helped the winery exponentially with his marketing ability. Dennis began his wine business career while studying accounting at CAL Berkeley and has had some great success with helping market Cakebread Cellars internationally and domestically. Dennis has helped them build an exceedingly strong reputation for their Chardonnay in particular. I can’t imagine how many wine lists serve the Cakebread Chardonnay but it is not only Dennis’s vision but the quality in the glass that has made that happen. Stephanie Jacobs serves as Cakebread winemaker. She has previously worked at Bogle Vineyards and was promoted to the winemaker position in 2017 after having spent time as their assistant winemaker. She has crafted some very good new wines.
I recently had the chance to try the new Cakebread wines and I found them to be fantastic across the board. Crisp and refreshing, showing good viscosity, I was impressed by the 2016 Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc (WWB, 91), which is drinking marvelously right now. I had the opportunity to visit an older release Chardonnay, the 2010 Cakebread Chardonnay (WWB, 91) which shows that great Chardonnay can age well. This wine had lovely tertiary components to the creamy body and had a lovely texture. Learn more about this storied winery at https://www.cakebread.com Here are the great new wines by Cakebread Cellars.
2016 Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc- The 2016 Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc is a really good effort in this warm vintage. The nose starts off with wonderful gooseberry and candied grapefruit aromas that build in the glass. The rich texture here shines, with cantaloupe, pear and Gravensteins apple flavors following. Showing good tension, this is an outstanding effort that needs a hot summer day. Drink 2018-2022- 91
2016 Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay- The 2016 Cakebread Chardonnay is an excellent warm vintage effort. Right out of the gate this shows toasty oak alongside tree and citrus fruit aromatics that build in the glass. The palate shows a good degree of minerality with baked apple, creme brûlée and lemon zest flavors. Better served a touch warm, this delicious effort will cellar well over the next decade. Drink 2018-2024- 91
2010 Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay- The 2010 Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay shows the impressive aging potential of these wines. On the nose there is lovely musty and tertiary aromatics that pick up including wild mushroom, peat moss alongside vanilla cream. The palate shows good tension and is better warmed up. Sourdought bread, Meyer lemon cream and poached pear flavors all come together nicely with cinnamon and damp earth undertones. This shows that great Napa Chardonnay can age. Drink 2018-2022- 91
2014 Cakebread Cellars ‘Two Creeks Vineyards’ Pinot Noir- Sourced from the Anderson Valley AVA, this Pinot Noir starts off with bright aromas of forest floor, black tea and blackberry pie. The palate is plush, showing good ripeness with blackberry pie, peat moss and stewed strawberry flavors. The earthy and citrus undertones entice here. Drink 2018-2028- 90
2013 Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon- This beautiful wine is already quite evolved. Inky in color, this Cabernet Sauvignon by Cakebread begins with aromas of anise, mocha and red bell pepper with wild blackberry. The palate shows good balance and weight with black tea, anise, mocha and sandalwood flavors. This shows good intensity and elegance. Drink 2018-2028- 91