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. 10% of the blend was fermented using native yeast from the vineyard. Fermentation took place in French oak barrels, 35% new, with 38% of the wine put through a secondary malolactic fermentation to foster a rich, creamy mouthfeel. Fifteen months of barrel aging with periodic stirring of the lees optimized wine’s complex aromas, rich texture and lush, concentrated flavors.

95 Points
Winemaker Challenge International
2015 vintage
93 Points
Ken's Wine
2015 vintage
Harvest Note
The 2015 vintage gave us a short crop of small-clustered grapes boasting deeply concentrated flavors. A warm, dry winter fostered early bud-break, and consistently mild summer weather, with a few late-season heat spikes, led to our earliest harvest ever. The light crop yielded small chardonnay berries bursting with bright, intense varietal flavors.
Tasting Note
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.
Food Pairing
Ideal with salmon, swordfish, veal and light pork, bouillabaisse or cream bisques.
Technical Data
GRAPES: 100% Chardonnay
APPELLATION: 100% Estate Carneros, Napa Valley
PH: 3.36
ACIDITY: 0.69 g/100 ml
ABV: 14.3%
AGING: 15 months in French oak barrels, 35% new
Unique Selling Points
  • A classic, oak-aged Carneros Chardonnay.
  • A portion of the wine sees malolactic fermentation, to enhance richness and mouthfeel.
  • 100% estate grown in 4 cool-climate Carneros district vineyards.

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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