Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cakebread Cellars 2008 Benchland Select Cabernet Sauvignon

Our final wine from the comp December Wine Chateau shipment was the Cakebread Cellars 2008 Benchland Select Cabernet Sauvignon ($85). Now, we have been long time fans of the Cakebread Chardonnay but, for some reason, have never tried any of their cabs. The Benchland Select is sourced from the their Hill Ranch vineyard in Rutherford (57%) and vineyards in the Oakville appellation (43%).  In 2008, the Hill Ranch suffered through early season frost so yields were low - resulting in very concentrated fruit. The juice was fermented in various tank sizes and then aged 22 months in French oak barrels, with almost half in new barrels. The wine starts a little hot on the nose, in which the alcohol eventually dissipates to reveal dark berries and leather. Tart blackberries surface in the palette with a creamy texture and bits of cocoa. The tannins are subtle, creating a fruit forward, easy drinking wine, closer to a pinot than a big Napa cab. To reach its full potential, the wine may need another year in bottle, but this is one that we finished rather quickly. And the 2009 has now been released, so you have two vintages to choose from. Cheers. 

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