2002 Cakebread Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1013629 90 points Wine & Spirits

 Juicy mulberry flavors focus this Cabernet on fruit. It's laden with that dark berry flavor, finishing clean with a dusting of tannin that doesn't get in the way of the fruit. A straightforward, satisfying choice at a steakhouse, this may gain some complexity over the next few years.  (12/2005)

Connoisseurs Guide

 While still quite young and undeveloped in its aromas, this nicely structured, medium-full-bodied wine exhibits plenty of fruit in its surprisingly accessible flavors. If very easy to taste, it is no simple quaffer meant for near-term gulping, and its combination of careful construction and deceptive depth mark it as one deserving of three to five years of further aging. *One Star*  (8/2005)

Wine Spectator

 Smooth, ripe and plush, with excellent balance to the cedary currant, anise and nutmeg scents. Firm and concentrated, with ripe, integrated tannins that will benefit from short-term cellaring. (JL)  (5/2005)

K&L Notes

Always a favorite, this vintage from Cakebread boasts an enticing aroma of ripe black cherry, berry and currant fruit complemented by scents of vanilla, sweet herbs, cocoa and coffee bean. On the palate, the wine's lush, deep, mouth-filling berry and cassis flavors carry a hint of tea-leaf spiciness and are seamlessly balanced by firm, supple tannins, leading to a long, rich, oak-enhanced finish. Delicious to drink now, this classic Napa Valley Cabernet will continue to develop for another 5-7 years in bottle. 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc; fruit sourced from more than a dozen vineyards stretching from the cool Carneros district in the south to the warm Calistoga region at the northern end of the valley, with the majority from the Rutherford appellation.

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Price: $59.99
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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.