Cakebread, Benchland Select Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California, 2017
Overview of the Wine
Benchland Select is a special blend of five clones of Cabernet Sauvignon from two superior vineyards in the gently sloping western benchlands of Rutherford and Oakville. These vineyards benefit from cool afternoon shade provided by the Mayacamas Mountains, allowing the grapes to mature at a slow, even pace, and gravelly loam soils affording excellent drainage. Each lot is gently destemmed and fermented separately in small stainless steel tanks designed to maximize color, flavor and tannin extraction. Yeast strains, fermentation temperatures, maceration techniques and barrel aging regimens were specifically tailored to the character of each lot to capture the finest attributes of each vineyard block in the final blend. The blend spent 22 months aging in French oak barrels, 63% new, prior to bottling.
Grape / Blend
Benchland Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
A big, ripe nose of fresh boysenberry, blackberry and dark cherry fruit, complemented by seductive roasted earth and dark chocolate scents, introduces lush, deeply concentrated flavors of boysenberry, blackberry, dark cherry and cassis framed by firm but supple tannins. The wine’s dramatically long, savory finish showcases rich, dark fruit with notes of chocolate, spice and toasted oak. Thoroughly delicious now, this complex, opulent, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon will handsomely reward another 7-10 years’ aging.
95 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
One of the flagship releases, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Benchland Select is all Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 22 months in 60% new French oak. Deep purple-hued with a classic Cabernet nose of blackcurrants, cassis, graphite, cedary spice, and chocolate, this puppy hits the palate with full-bodied richness, an elegant, seamless texture, a chalky minerality, and a great finish. It's a smoking good Cabernet Sauvignon that will improve with 2-5 years of bottle age and cruise for two decades or more. This 2017 matches what this estate achieved in 2016 and 2015. Maturity 2023-2043.
93 Points - Wine Spectator
A lovely wine, with dark cherry, plum, fig and boysenberry fruit melded together, picking up light mulling spice, sassafras and singed juniper notes along the way, before ending with a late flurry of fruit and dark earth hints. Drink now through 2034.
91 Points - Vinous
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Benchland Select is another expressive wine in this range from Cakebread. Iron, smoke, cedar, tobacco, licorice and sweet spice all shape this attractive, mid-weight Cabernet Sauvignon.
95 Points - Ian Blackburn
This is why it can be said that Napa Valley is making some of the best wine in the world today. This brand (A leader and one of 400 in the Napa Valley), Cakebread, has been investing for years and now has two winemaking facilities to elevate quality and remain AVA relevant. Elevating Napa is a year over year push for excellence and Cakebread is a part of the solution. This is perhaps one of the finest efforts I have tasted from the brand and really a pleasurable Napa cabernet benchmark. On a 100 point scale: Color 14.5, Aromas 23.5, Body/ Structure 24, Overall Impress 33 = 95 points... and I'm being critical... maybe 96-97 points in a future tasting. Best 2023-2028. Nose: Dense, deep, dark, dramatic - Dark fruit skins, Napa Dust, Cassis. Mouth: Plush, rich, structured, balanced - great fruit concentration screams quality, with quality markers galore. Finish: Protracted, punctuated, persistent - refined and calls you back for more.
Product size: 750ml
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