Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay Reserve 2004, 90 points

Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay Reserve 2004

(USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros)

The Cakebread reserve chard was smooth, well rounded and flavorful.  Nice golden color.  The nose is sweet with pineapple, pear, and a great dose of french oak.  The palate was very balanced and was rounded with butter, oak and light fruits.  A strong wine with some pop to it.  The tannins complimented the flavors nicely.  Full, and rich.  I think a few more years on this wine the tannins will not dance as much and this will be a big winner.  This wine is a define try even at the 125.00 per bottle.

From Cakebread site: Click Here


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.

Tasting Notes

Our 2004 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.

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  • Ted Lange says:

    Cakebread was my favorite winery in the late 90′s. They truly became the Cult Winery until their 2003 vintage showed serious depression in quality. I have stopped purchasing their wines since then, but have tasted many at shows. I recently had the 2006 Chard. Reserve. It was a total BUTTER BOMB! I love buttered chard and this was probably the strongest I’ve ever tasted. Cakebread may deserve some new attention from my end, but unfortunately, sometimes their inflated prices are a result of name recognition and not what’s in the bottle. Since 2003, I simply have discovered to many other great wineries to jump back on the Cakebread bandwagon. They deserve credit for many years of great wines, but I can’t help wonder if they have slipped from overconfidence?

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