Cakebread Chardonnay 2012 Napa Valley Chardonnay will continue to please over the next 3-5 years. Their strategy for producing world-class Chardonnay begins with night harvesting, which ensures that grapes are picked cold and retain their fruit purity and bright natural acidity. Immediately upon arriving at the winery, the fruit is whole-cluster-pressed further preserving freshness and purity and the juice is transferred to a mix of French oak barrels and stainless steel tanks for fermentation. In 2012, 88% of the juice was fermented in barrel, while 12% became wine in tank. After primary fermentation completed, 16% of the wine was put through a secondary, malolactic fermentation to enhance richness and mouthfeel. One hundred percent of the wine aged sur lie (on the yeast lees) in French oak barrels, 20% new, for eight months to foster greater roundness and complexity, with periodic stirring of the lees adding an appealing creamy, yeasty tone to the wine’s lavish fruit.
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