Yes I’m reviewing a chardonnay, again. Sorry, but as much as I’ve branched out, there are still some wines that I just can’t stay away from.
This wine is from Napa Valley. But unlike the over the top chardonnays that can come from this region, this one has a great balance between oak flavors and the fruit.
The Cakebread Cellars 2010 Chardonnay is a beautiful straw yellow color, has a citrus nose that makes your mouth water in anticipation of the crisp apple flavors to come. The oak aging — 88 percent of the juice was fermented in barrel — lends notes of vanilla. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied, but I’d say on the lighter end of the scale so it’s not overpowering.
What’s nice about this wine is the balance between the oak and the true flavors of the grape. According to Cakebread’s tasting notes, 12 percent of its chardonnay is fermented in a stainless steel tanks, while only 11 percent of the wine goes through malolactic fermentation — this is what produces those buttery notes. The wine that is aged in the barrel is aged sur lee with periodic stirring. This means the dead yeast cells stay in the juice during fermentation, giving it fuller body.
I liked the marriage between the oak and stainless steel blending. While the oak flavors rounded out this wine, I could still taste the grape’s flavors, including apple, melon and citrus. This gave the wine a brightness that reminded me of a white Burgundy.
This is definitely a food wine, although I’ll admit it was my dessert the other night…