Chardonnay Reserve is vinified exclusively from grapes grown in Cakebread’s four Estate vineyards in the Carneros district of southern Napa Valley. These cool‐climate sites provide ideal conditions for the cultivation of world‐class chardonnay. Nine superior clones of Chardonnay further enhance the quality and complexity of this wine. The grapes were night harvested and whole-cluster pressed, and each clonal selection was fermented and barrel‐aged separately. Fermentation took place in French oak barrels, 30% new, with 38% of the wine put through a secondary malolactic fermentation to enhance its texture and foster a rich, creamy mouthfeel. Fifteen months of barrel aging with periodic stirring of the lees optimized wine’s complex aromas, rich texture and bright, concentrated flavors.
Seductive, slightly floral aromas of creamy golden apple and honeydew melon, with complementary scents of crème brulee, yeast and mineral, preface a lush, full-bodied palate offering intense and expansive melon, peach and apple flavors accentuated by fresh, perfectly balanced acidity. The wine’s long, elegant and focused finish showcases bright, apple-y flavors with hints of citrus, mineral and oak spice. This delicious and complex Carneros Napa Valley chardonnay is enjoyable now, but will gain further complexity with another 5-7 years aging.