Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine: Cakebread Cellars 2005 Sauvignon Blanc  (Napa Valley)

Cakebread Cellars

2005 Sauvignon Blanc
(Napa Valley)

This wine is a perfect example of why winemakers hardly ever need to use new oak. While a small portion (13 percent) of this Sauvignon Blanc was barrel fermented, the French barrels were once used. After stainless steel tank fermentation for the balance of the wine, 75 percent of the total saw four months in 2-year-old wood, while the remainder never saw a barrel at all.

What it all adds up to is a wine of elegance and lushness from only the kiss of wood. But more important, and because of the restrained oak regimen, winemaker Julianne Laks has coaxed Sauvignon Blanc typicity – hints of grassiness and sweet pear. The Semillon adds the acidity, while the Sauvignon Musque – a SB clone with Muscat-like qualities – lends the wine its aromatics. The listed alcohol is 14.1 percent and the wine is extremely well balanced, though it’s a bit young right now. I expect it should age nicely for six to eight years.

The grapes came primarily from Cakebread’s estate vineyards in Rutherford, as well as from vineyards in St. Helena and Calistoga to the north, the latter of which is the Maple Lane Vineyard. That vineyard is tucked against the hills just south of Calistoga. The vines are planted on the valley floor and grow into well drained, fertile soils.

Reviewed December 21, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.

Other reviewed wines from Cakebread Cellars


The Wine

Winery: Cakebread Cellars
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Napa Valley
Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc (90%), Semillon (5%), Sauvignon Musque (5%)
Price: 750ml $21.75

Review Date: 12/21/2006

The Reviewer

Alan Goldfarb

Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.