High-toned aromas of freshly crushed boysenberries, dark cherries and forest-floor spice (imagine walking in a pine forest after a light summer rainfall)


big, dense, tightly wound palate packed with marvelously rich and concentrated black cherry, boysenberry and blackberry flavors, which are enhanced by savory clove, cocoa and vanilla tones.

Growing Conditions

2007 was an exceptional red wine vintage in Napa Valley. A dry, mild winter and unusually warm spring prompted early budbreak and bloom, followed by a perfect grape set in June. Summer was consistently mild, with warm days and cool nights, ideal conditions for achieving maximum ripening and flavor development while retaining healthy levels of acidity. A warm early September and a modest crop got the harvest off to an early, fast-paced start, allowing us to pick our Dancing Bear Ranch grapes in perfect condition between September 14th and 27th.


The trio of red Bordeaux varieties in our Dancing Bear Ranch on Howell Mountain presents Cakebread Cellars winemaker Julianne Laks with both challenges and opportunities. The primary challenge is to capture the intense mountain character of the fruit without extracting overly assertive tannins, which Julianne addresses through constant monitoring of the juice and wine during fermentation and maceration. One opportunity is to co-ferment a portion of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc to soften the former’s tannin and enhance complexity, a technique utilized in 2007. After all the component lots of the 2007 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 barrels for aging prior to blending in spring 2008. In all, the 2007 vintage spent 22 months in French oak, 47% new, before being bottled in August, 2009.