Our Napa Valley Chardonnay offers fresh, lovely pear and ripe Granny Smith apple aromas with supporting mineral, baked bread and baking spice scents. Full and richly textured on the palate, the citrusy crisp, spiced-apple and pear flavors are enriched by yeast and toasty oak tones that extend into a very long, rich, minerally finish. Youthfully compact, with superb structure and an ideal balance of fresh fruit, acid and wood tones, this beautiful Napa Valley Chardonnay, one of Cakebread's very best, should develop in the bottle for another 3 to 5 years.
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.