Over 40 years ago, Cakebread released its very first wine: a 1973 Napa Valley Chardonnay, and have been fine-tuning it ever since. Grapes for this wine come from the world-famous Carneros appellation in southern Napa Valley. This region sits just north of San Pablo Bay, whose influence provides the cool, windswept conditions that produce Chardonnay with ideal balance between fruit characters and acidity. Soils here are predominantly Haire Loam, a light clay that helps grapevines naturally regulate vigor for fruit of intense concentration. We harvested the grapes by night in small batches, and we press it directly into tank as whole clusters. We then transfer the juice into French oak barrels (87%) and stainless steel tanks (13%) to ferment. In order to achieve maximum fruit expression, we aged the wine on its yeast lees for eight months with intermittent stirring to enhance texture and boost complexity.

90 Points
Wine Advocate
2018 vintage
89 Points
Jeb Dunnuck
2018 vintage
Harvest Note
The 2018 growing season was a dream come true. Early spring rains replenished the soils, clusters ripened evenly over a long, slow summer—cooler than usual, and with no heat spikes—so grapes reached full maturity right on time. Yields at harvest were abundant and of very high quality.
Tasting Note
Aromas of ripe golden apple, white peach, complemented with notes of oak. On the palate, apple and pear characters are balanced by fresh acidity, and the finish is clean, with appealing mineral notes.
Food Pairing
This is a versatile pairing wine—we love it with fresh salads, grilled scallops, and nearly any selection of cheeses.
Technical Data
GRAPES: 100% Chardonnay
PH: 3.43
ACIDITY: 0.73 g/100ml
ABV: 13.7%
AGING: 8 months aging in French oak barrels, 33% new
Unique Selling Points
  • Grapes come from world-famous Carneros appellation in southern Napa Valley
  • Whole cluster pressed and aged 8 months in 33% new French Oak
  • Versatile with fresh salads, grilled scallops, and nearly any selection of cheeses

About the Grape

Though it has a distinctive profile, Chardonnay reflects other factors such as soil composition and vinification technique. Chardonnay is a reliable, hardy and prolific vine whose only real vulnerabilities are frost and uneven development of fruit.
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