Medium copper color; strawberry, ruby red grapefruit, raspberry, blood orange on the nose; raspberry, strawberry, watermelon, white peach on the palate.
Dry; bright acidity (3.46 pH). Light press of whole clusters of pinot noir with each lot fermented separately. Blend of 98% pinot noir from the Anderson Valley and 2% syrah from Napa Valley. Aged three months in neutral French oak (67%) and stainless steel (33%). Fresh and engaging with some complexity. 13.9% ABV
Winemaker Stephanie Jacobs notes: “Vin de Porche—no accent required—is a traditional dry rosé, and true to its name, it’s meant to be enjoyed on the porch or patio. Pinot noir grapes from our companion vineyards in Anderson Valley give this wine delicate aromas of strawberry and bright, refreshing acidity.”
Jack and Dolores Cakebread—yes, that is their real last name, not some made-up marketing folderol—founded the winery in 1973 with a commitment to “warm, gracious hospitality and unmatched wines.” Today, the second generation, sons Dennis and Bruce, run the operation. Mike Jaeger—a storied wine brand manager (he was chairman of the board at Clos du Val before joining Cakebread)—is the president and CEO. Stephanie Jacobs is the winemaker.
Jack first encountered Napa and the wine scene as a photographer. He studied with Ansel Adams from 1957 to 1966. He came to Napa in 1973 to photograph for what became a classic coffee-table book, The Treasury of American Wines. He mentioned to a friend that if some Napa land became available, please give him a call. Land became available, and Jack and Dolores used the advance they received from the wine book to buy their first piece of Napa land.
Jack’s father was in the car repair business—Cakebread’s Garage—and, by 1973, Jack was president of the company and working full time in addition to his photography. Didn’t matter, Jack and Dolores began developing their property, planting grapes and a garden that still produces food for the Cakebread culinary program and welcomes visitors. In the 46 years since that atypical beginning, Cakebread has become an iconic Napa fixture.
The Cakebread website goes into interesting details, along with videos and vintage photographs, and is well worth a visit if you want an entertaining sojourn. Quality and innovation are important at Cakebread. They initiated night harvesting to improve grape quality, whole-cluster pressing of white grapes for freshness and varietal intensity, sur lie aging of chardonnay for richness and creaminess.
Cakebread Cellars is a green-certified winery (since 2008). Its vineyards are farmed organically or sustainably. The website has nice videos about Cakebread’s vineyard, winemaking processes, and environmental initiatives.
Cakebread Cellars Vin de Porche Rosé, Anderson Valley 2021 is bright, crisp, delicately delicious. Strawberry leads an engaging procession of delicious fruit in a Provence style. Wonderful as a summer sipper on porch, patio, poolside—that is its name. Aperitif, paired with charcuterie board featuring lighter cheese and fresh fruits. Paid with shellfish; spicy food—Mexican, Indian, Asian; fruity desserts. Go adventurous with a brunch bistro burger with a sunny side up. Cheese—feta, baby swiss, mild cheddar, mascarpone, mixed-milk cheeses. $30