lear, dark garnet color. Its spicy, cedar-like scents together with a background aroma of cassis are invitingly rich and complex.
On the palate, the texture is rich and smooth with flavors reminiscent of cassis with a hint of chocolate. The overall taste-impression of this wine is one of rich black fruit in a delicious balance.
Cakebread Cellars’ 1998 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is yet another classic vintage Cabernet of the Nineties. The vintage itself was challenging, to say the least. El Niño-generated weather patterns kept Napa Valley vineyards unusually cool and wet for most of the growing season, until two separate hot spells hit in mid-July and August. However, overall, the 1998 Vintage was the coolest one since 1994. While crop levels were down 20% from 1997’s bountiful yields, quality was kept high due to the prevalent cool temperatures plus “The October Miracle” of an “Indian summer.”
The determining factor in the Cakebread style of winemaking is taste, whether it is to decide when grapes are wholly mature to pick or when to “press-out” an individual lot of fermented Cabernet Sauvignon. In making this 1998 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, as is our practice, we fermented each vineyard lot separately. Then, we put half in new small French oak barrels and half in one and two-year old barrels for approximately six months. Throughout this initial aging process, we continually taste-analyze the various individual lots so as to put together a final blend. Once we assemble a final blend, it goes into the same French oak barrels to age for an additional year before being bottled.
18½ months in French oak, 50% in new, balance in one & two-year old barrels
An excellent companion to beef, rich pork dishes and game.