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Vintage In 2003, a warm early spring gave way to cool, wet weather in April, which set back vine development. Seas...Read more...
Food Pairings for Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Vintage In 2003, a warm early spring gave way to cool, wet weather in April, which set back vine development. Seasonally temperate weather prevailed from May through July, but a cool pattern returned in August, delaying ripening. By early September, warm, sunny days and clear, cool nights were again the norm, and hot weather during the latter half of September sent us scurrying to harvest earlier-ripening varieties. October, however, brought classic autumn weather, with crisp mornings, warm afternoons and cool evenings, extending the harvest by several weeks and enabling us to pick our Cabernet Sauvignon grapes at moderate sugar levels. Red wines from the topsy-turvy 2003 harvest are rich and deeply colored, with excellent concentration and balance. Vineyards The grapes for our 2003 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which was blended with 11% Merlot, 0.7% Cabernet Franc and 0.3% Malbec, come from more than a dozen vineyards stretching from the cool Carneros district in the southern valley to the warm Calistoga region at its northern end. Blending fruit from multiple clones and microclimates allows us to produce a complex Cabernet Sauvignon melding the bright fruit characteristic of Napa's cooler districts with the lush black fruit and firm tannins typical of the valley's warmer climes. The grapes for our 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon were harvested between October 2nd and 29th at optimal ripeness. Winemaking After crushing and cold-soaking the fruit for 24-36 hours, the juice from each vineyard lot was fermented separately in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, at warm temperatures, to fully extract color and flavor. The fermentations completed in approximately seven days, but we kept the wines macerating on their skins for an additional three weeks to maximize color and flavor extraction and enhance the wine's tannic structure. The free run wine from each lot was then drained and transferred to French oak barrels, 55% new, for aging. During this period, winemaker Julianne Laks tasted each lot regularly to assess its aroma and flavor development, texture, and oak character. In spring, 2004, the lots chosen for our Napa Valley bottling were blended, and subsequently aged an additional 14 months in barrel before bottling in July, 2005.
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