Napa Valley wines… and earthquake!

Notwithstanding its influence on the world wine market, Napa Valley is quite small, stretching less than 50 kilometers from cooler Carneros in the south to the much warmer Castiloga in the north. Yet there is astonishing variety here: nearly 150 different soil types stretch along this corridor, which is never more than eight kilometers wide.

I had a few appointments to meet some quality producers, where I was able to taste a wide variety of wines. On August 18th, I had lunch with Bruce Cakebread, President of Cakebread Cellars. The business began in 1973, when brother Jack, owner of Cakebread’s Garage in Oakland, purchased a neighbouring ranch in Rutherford and planted vines. Bruce joined on as winemaker from 1979-2002, when he was promoted to President and now oversees all operations.

Bruce-Cakebread

Bruce Cakebread, President of Cakebread Cellars

The Cakebreads are known to be a culinary family; they regularly hold wine dinners in three different venues on their property. So we sat down in their Pecan Patio for a lovely four course lunch accompanied by seven different wines.

First was the Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2009, dry with very little fruit, nice mouth feel and medium high acidity. I was surprised that a five year old Sauvignon was holding so well, so we opened a 2013. It was fresher with more citrus notes, but less complex. The 2009 has actually aged better than many Sancerres, though whether Sancerre should be aged is another topic in itself. more>>

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