ripe dark cherry, boysenberry, blackberry and plum fruit complemented by subtle earth, floral spice, forest floor and cocoa tones.


In the mouth, the wine is rich, deep and juicy with mouthfilling dark cherry, boysenberry, cassis, plum and cedar flavors that take on a pronounced brambly spice tone in the remarkably long, savory finish.

Growing Conditions

In 2009, plentiful spring rains in Napa Valley deferred the need for early irrigation, resulting in small berries with deeply concentrated flavors. Summer was consistently cool, which allowed for slow, steady ripening and the parallel development of grape sugars and flavors, resulting in superbly balanced wines. We harvested the grapes for the 2009 Dancing Bear Ranch between October 2nd and 5th with a superb balance of ripe fruit flavors, supple tannins and bright acidity.


The challenge for Cakebread Cellars winemaker Julianne Laks in crafting our Dancing Bear Ranch is to fully capture the intense mountain character of the fruit without extracting overly aggressive tannins. Julianne’s approach is to carefully monitor tannin levels in the juice and wine during fermentation and maceration. After the component lots of the 2009 Dancing Bear Ranch had achieved an optimal balance of fruit intensity and ripe tannins, the free run wines were drained from their skins and transferred to French oak barrels, 41% new, for aging. In all, the 2009 vintage spent 20 months in barrel prior to bottling in July, 2011.


20 months in French oak, 41% new