Cakebread Cellars is a Napa Valley winery known for its world-class Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc wines, which are internationally distributed. Founded in 1973 by Jack and Dolores Cakebread in Rutherford, California, Cakebread Cellars has earned a reputation for "exceptional wines and gracious hospitality" and is considered one of the most highly esteemed and successful wineries in Napa Valley. The winery produces approximately 75,000 cases of wine per year.
2011 was a challenging vintage. The year began with a wet winter and spring, followed by atypically cool summer weather and several October rainstorms. Not surprisingly, their Napa Valley grapes ripened slowly, resulting in a prolonged harvest. To address the situation, they thinned fruit from their vines to ensure full ripening of the remaining clusters and sorted meticulously through the grapes at the winery so that only the best berries were sent to the crusher. This helped achieved their goal of making a characteristically layered and opulent Benchland Select Cabernet Sauvignon.
In order to maximize color extraction, tannin structure and vineyard expression, they use a mix of small and larger tanks to ferment the components of their Benchland Select Cabernet Sauvignon. Their winemaker, Julianne Laks, carefully tailors tank sizes, yeast strains, fermentation temperatures and maceration techniques to the attributes of each lot of grapes, which vary by location, ripeness level and clonal type. Such specialized fermentations, combined with lot-specific barrel aging regimens, ensure that the finest attributes of each vineyard are reflected in the final blend. Their 2011 Benchland Select spent a total of 19 months aging in French oak barrels, 45% new, prior to bottling in July, 2013. And the result is smooth and round on the palate, with wonderfully soft tannins, its plush boysenberry, blackberry, black fig and ripe cherry flavors take on savory earth, chocolate, mineral and toasted oak tones in the wine’s long, fruitful finish.