2003 Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay Napa Valley
251 Ratings
Detail
251 Ratings
2003 Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay Napa Valley

Winemaker's Notes

Vintage In 2004, an unusually warm late winter, consistently mild spring and summer weather, and several late-summer heat spells resulted in one of the earliest Napa Valley harvests on record. Although fast and furious, the early start to the season and lower-than-normal crop loads produced grape clusters with small berries and ripe flavors, yielding wines with impressive concentration, depth and structure. Vineyards Our Napa Valley Chardonnay represents a blend of grapes from the cool Carneros read more...Vintage In 2004, an unusually warm late winter, consistently mild spring and summer weather, and several late-summer heat spells resulted in one of the earliest Napa Valley harvests on record. Although fast and furious, the early start to the season and lower-than-normal crop loads produced grape clusters with small berries and ripe flavors, yielding wines with impressive concentration, depth and structure. Vineyards Our Napa Valley Chardonnay represents a blend of grapes from the cool Carneros region in southern Napa Valley and fruit from vineyards in the town of Napa. Blending from the two regions enables us to produce a Chardonnay with rich, ripe fruit flavors balanced by crisp acidity. To maximize the quality of the fruit and avoid the daytime heat that stresses vineyard workers, 76% was hand picked at night under lights. The 2004 vintage was a markedly early harvest with consistent, warm summer days, so it was advantageous to use the cool weather of night to bring the grapes into the winery right on target. Harvested at optimal maturity between August 22nd and September 18th, the grapes arrived at the winery cool and in perfect condition, with their natural acidity - essential to the wine's structure and freshness - perfectly preserved. The cool temperature of the night harvested fruit also prevents extraction from the skins that is not favorable. Winemaking 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. (hide)

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Vintage In 2004, an unusually warm late winter, consistently mild spring and summer weather, and several late-summer heat spells resulted in one of the earliest Napa Valley harvests on record. Although fast and furious, the early start to the season and lower-than-normal crop loads produced grape clusters with small berries and ripe flavors, yielding wines with impressive concentration, depth and structure. Vineyards Our Napa Valley Chardonnay represents a blend of grapes from the cool Carneros read more...Vintage In 2004, an unusually warm late winter, consistently mild spring and summer weather, and several late-summer heat spells resulted in one of the earliest Napa Valley harvests on record. Although fast and furious, the early start to the season and lower-than-normal crop loads produced grape clusters with small berries and ripe flavors, yielding wines with impressive concentration, depth and structure. Vineyards Our Napa Valley Chardonnay represents a blend of grapes from the cool Carneros region in southern Napa Valley and fruit from vineyards in the town of Napa. Blending from the two regions enables us to produce a Chardonnay with rich, ripe fruit flavors balanced by crisp acidity. To maximize the quality of the fruit and avoid the daytime heat that stresses vineyard workers, 76% was hand picked at night under lights. The 2004 vintage was a markedly early harvest with consistent, warm summer days, so it was advantageous to use the cool weather of night to bring the grapes into the winery right on target. Harvested at optimal maturity between August 22nd and September 18th, the grapes arrived at the winery cool and in perfect condition, with their natural acidity - essential to the wine's structure and freshness - perfectly preserved. The cool temperature of the night harvested fruit also prevents extraction from the skins that is not favorable. Winemaking 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. (hide)

Expert Reviews
  • Wine & Spirits
    (From 2001 Vintage)