2003 Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley
156 Ratings
Detail
156 Ratings
2003 Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley

Winemaker's Notes

Vintage The 2003 vintage was a real roller-coaster ride. After a warm, dry March, April was cold and wet, retarding development of the vines and adversely affecting grape set on several varieties. The summer months were generally cool, auguring a late season, but heat spells in August and early September kick-started the harvest, enabling the fruit to achieve full maturity. Because yields were down and berry sizes were small, our sauvignon blanc grapes, harvested between August 29th and September read more...Vintage The 2003 vintage was a real roller-coaster ride. After a warm, dry March, April was cold and wet, retarding development of the vines and adversely affecting grape set on several varieties. The summer months were generally cool, auguring a late season, but heat spells in August and early September kick-started the harvest, enabling the fruit to achieve full maturity. Because yields were down and berry sizes were small, our sauvignon blanc grapes, harvested between August 29th and September 29th, boasted excellent flavor concentration, with a fine balance of sugars and acids. Vineyards Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc is produced from grapes grown in our estate vineyards in Rutherford, as well as from vineyards in St. Helena and Calistoga to the north. These mid- and up-valley sites deliver fruit of great character, enabling us to produce a crisp, full-bodied, complex style of sauvignon blanc. For additional complexity, we blend in small amounts of semillon and sauvignon musqué, the latter an especially aromatic clone of the sauvignon variety. Fermentation & Aging To insure fresh, pure juice, the grapes were hand-harvested in early morning, whole cluster pressed, and then cold-settled in tank for 36 hours. The juice was then racked off the lees and inoculated with Prise de Mousse yeast to instigate fermentation. One-quarter of the juice was fermented in neutral French oak barrels, with the balance fermenting in tank. Three-quarters of the wine then spent an average of five months in barrel with periodic stirring of the yeast lees to add richness and enhance mouth-feel, while the balance aged entirely in stainless steel to lend the blend freshness, structure and minerality. After blending, the wine was bottled in March 2004. Winemaker's Notes Our 2003 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is redolent of citrus fruit (grapefruit, lime), melon, guava, fig, white peach, minerals, and hay, with a faint hint of oak. In the mouth, the wine is full and rich, but refreshingly crisp, with impressively focused citrus, melon and peach flavors that culminate in a mineral-y, lime-zest finish. Delightful to drink now, this classic Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc will blossom with an additional six months' bottle age and should be a pleasure to drink over the next 3-5 years, especially as an accompaniment to seafood and poultry dishes. Grape variety: 89% Sauvignon Blanc 8% Semillon 3% Sauvignon Musque Alcoholic Content: 14.1% Vineyards: 70% Napa Valley 30% Estate Total Acidity: 0.64g/100ml pH: 3.50 Harvest Dates: 8/29/2003 through 9/29/2003 Fermentation: 75% Stainless Steel 25% French Oak Barrel-aging: 76% Aged 5 months in French Oak. (hide)

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Vintage The 2003 vintage was a real roller-coaster ride. After a warm, dry March, April was cold and wet, retarding development of the vines and adversely affecting grape set on several varieties. The summer months were generally cool, auguring a late season, but heat spells in August and early September kick-started the harvest, enabling the fruit to achieve full maturity. Because yields were down and berry sizes were small, our sauvignon blanc grapes, harvested between August 29th and September read more...Vintage The 2003 vintage was a real roller-coaster ride. After a warm, dry March, April was cold and wet, retarding development of the vines and adversely affecting grape set on several varieties. The summer months were generally cool, auguring a late season, but heat spells in August and early September kick-started the harvest, enabling the fruit to achieve full maturity. Because yields were down and berry sizes were small, our sauvignon blanc grapes, harvested between August 29th and September 29th, boasted excellent flavor concentration, with a fine balance of sugars and acids. Vineyards Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc is produced from grapes grown in our estate vineyards in Rutherford, as well as from vineyards in St. Helena and Calistoga to the north. These mid- and up-valley sites deliver fruit of great character, enabling us to produce a crisp, full-bodied, complex style of sauvignon blanc. For additional complexity, we blend in small amounts of semillon and sauvignon musqué, the latter an especially aromatic clone of the sauvignon variety. Fermentation & Aging To insure fresh, pure juice, the grapes were hand-harvested in early morning, whole cluster pressed, and then cold-settled in tank for 36 hours. The juice was then racked off the lees and inoculated with Prise de Mousse yeast to instigate fermentation. One-quarter of the juice was fermented in neutral French oak barrels, with the balance fermenting in tank. Three-quarters of the wine then spent an average of five months in barrel with periodic stirring of the yeast lees to add richness and enhance mouth-feel, while the balance aged entirely in stainless steel to lend the blend freshness, structure and minerality. After blending, the wine was bottled in March 2004. Winemaker's Notes Our 2003 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is redolent of citrus fruit (grapefruit, lime), melon, guava, fig, white peach, minerals, and hay, with a faint hint of oak. In the mouth, the wine is full and rich, but refreshingly crisp, with impressively focused citrus, melon and peach flavors that culminate in a mineral-y, lime-zest finish. Delightful to drink now, this classic Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc will blossom with an additional six months' bottle age and should be a pleasure to drink over the next 3-5 years, especially as an accompaniment to seafood and poultry dishes. Grape variety: 89% Sauvignon Blanc 8% Semillon 3% Sauvignon Musque Alcoholic Content: 14.1% Vineyards: 70% Napa Valley 30% Estate Total Acidity: 0.64g/100ml pH: 3.50 Harvest Dates: 8/29/2003 through 9/29/2003 Fermentation: 75% Stainless Steel 25% French Oak Barrel-aging: 76% Aged 5 months in French Oak. (hide)

Expert Reviews
Read all 5 expert reviews
  • Wine & Spirits
    (From 2008 Vintage) Rating: 90/100 - As reviewed by Wine & Spirits Magazine on 10/09. This lightly fragrant sauvignon has the classic "cat pee on a gooseberry bush" character of the grape. It's a clean and tart wine to serve with pasta tossed with English peas.
  • Appellation America
    (From 2005 Vintage) This wine is a perfect example of why winemakers hardly ever need to use new oak. While a small portion (13 percent) of this Sauvignon Blanc was barrel fermented, the French barrels were once used. After stainless steel tank fermentation for the balance of the wine, 75 percent of the total saw four months in 2-year-old wood, while the remainder never saw a barrel at all.What it all adds up to is a wine of elegance and lushness from only the kiss of wood. But more important, and because of the restrained oak regimen, winemaker Julianne Laks has coaxed Sauvignon Blanc typicity - hints of grassiness and read more...sweet pear. The Semillon adds the acidity, while the Sauvignon Musque - a SB clone with Muscat-like qualities - lends the wine its aromatics. The listed alcohol is 14.1 percent and the wine is extremely well balanced, though it’s a bit young right now. I expect it should age nicely for six to eight years.The grapes came primarily from Cakebread’s estate vineyards in Rutherford, as well as from vineyards in St. Helena and Calistoga to the north, the latter of which is the Maple Lane Vineyard. That vineyard is tucked against the hills just south of Calistoga. The vines are planted on the valley floor and grow into well drained, fertile soils.    (hide)
  • Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines
    (From 2005 Vintage) Rather soft-spoken in fruit and less than convincing vis-a-vis any specific varietal herbs or grass, this clean but limited wine has a nice sense of palatal weight, but it ultimately has more feel than flavor. Its vaguely metallic finish is punctuated by an unwelcome note of bitterness, and nowhere does it display the richness or range to justify its premium price.
  • Wine Spectator
    (From 2005 Vintage) Rating: 91/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator on 11/06.
  • Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines
    (From 2004 Vintage) A rich and potent Sauvignon Blanc, this one makes a deep and inviting varietal statement without ever giving into excess in the areas of greens or of ripeness. Instead, it is assembled so as to make an asset of its depth, and it accomplishes that not-so-easy feat through impeccable balance between its ripe, fig and pear fruit and its oaky aspect and balance in body and acidity. A bit of a grassy note creeps into the lengthy finish and suggests that it serve with herb-poached fish.