1981 Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
378 Ratings
Detail
378 Ratings
1981 Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Winemaker's Notes

(From 2002 Vintage) Vintage In 2002, Napa Valley enjoyed a long, mild growing season of consistently warm days and cool nights, with just a few manageable heat spikes in late September and early October. With an expectation of healthy yields, many growers significantly thinned their crops and pruned shoots and leaves extensively to guarantee the vines put all their energy into ripening the remaining grape clusters, ensuring highly concentrated, complex fruit flavors. Cakebread Cellars further maximized grape quality read more...Vintage In 2002, Napa Valley enjoyed a long, mild growing season of consistently warm days and cool nights, with just a few manageable heat spikes in late September and early October. With an expectation of healthy yields, many growers significantly thinned their crops and pruned shoots and leaves extensively to guarantee the vines put all their energy into ripening the remaining grape clusters, ensuring highly concentrated, complex fruit flavors. Cakebread Cellars further maximized grape quality by using advanced soil moisture management techniques to precisely calibrate the amount of water required by the vines at critical junctures throughout the season. Vineyards The grapes for our 2002 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, blended with 11% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, come from more than a dozen vineyards stretching from the cool Carneros district in the south to the warm Calistoga region at the northern end of the valley, with the majority from the mid-valley Rutherford appellation. Blending fruit from multiple clones and microclimates enables us to craft a complex Cabernet Sauvignon melding the bright, crisp fruit characteristic of Napa's cooler regions with the lush, black-fruit flavors and firm tannins typical of the valley's warmer climes. The grapes for the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon were harvested between September 21st and October 14th, 2002. Winemaking After being crushed and cold-soaked for 24-36 hours, each vineyard lot was fermented separately in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, at warm temperatures, to fully extract color and flavor. The fermentations completed in seven days, with an extended maceration of 21 additional days to maximize extraction and enhance the wine's structure. The free run juice of each lot was then drained and transferred to French oak barrels, 65% new, for aging. During this period, each lot was tasted regularly to assess its aroma and flavor development, varietal character, ripeness and richness levels, and oak character. In spring, 2003, the chosen lots were blended and aged an additional 14 months in barrel before bottling in July 2004. (hide)

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Expert Reviews
Read all 5 expert reviews
  • Wine & Spirits
    (From 2002 Vintage)
  • Decanter
    (From 2002 Vintage) Rating: 4/5 - As reviewed by Decanter. Excellent depth of fruit, sweet hazelnut, raspberry. Very well balanced, tight, good acidity, very elegant, strong oak. Drink 2008-16.
  • Decanter
    (From 2002 Vintage) Rating: 4/5 - As reviewed by Decanter. Excellent depth of fruit, sweet hazelnut, raspberry. Very well balanced, tight, good acidity, very elegant, strong oak. Drink 2008-16.
  • Wine & Spirits
    (From 2002 Vintage)
  • Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines
    (From 2000 Vintage) 20% Merlot; 2% Cabernet Franc. As often seems the case for the Cabs of 2000, the aromas of this wine are nicely fruited, fairly deep and enriched with plenty of sweet oak spice. Once in the mouth, however, the wine proves to be ripe yet slightly hollow and lower in fruit than it is in oak. A little lean at the finish and never so rich as advertised, this is a pleasant but uncompelling wine whose reach exceeds its grasp.