Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Select Tasting with Dolores Cakebread

By Jessica Yadegaran
Wednesday, April 4th, 2007 at 2:04 pm in Uncategorized.

What luck did we have Saturday when we stumbled into Cakebread Cellars to find Dolores Cakebread signing copies of her new cookbook. It was both Ross’ and Lisa’s first time in the Valley, and I was glad they’d have a bit of a celebrity encounter. She talked to us about her days in Oakland, shopping at Berkeley Bowl. It was a wonderful hour.

Dolores Cakebread and her husband Jack were pioneers, arriving in the Valley after Schramsberg and before Mondavi, over 30 years ago. That said, I like how innovative they are and how they move forward. Particularly, they respond to consumers’ need to learn about food pairings. They offer them during lunchtime at the winery. They also print pairing recipes on the back of the tasting menu and for free on their Web site as well.

We took our seats outside for a premium private tasting in their garden courtyard. I’d forgotten how classic and sophisticated Cakebread wines can be. Standouts for me were the 2005 Sauvingnon Blanc ($21.75), with its citrusy aromas, apple flavor and mineral finish. This is a hearty salad wine, and as such, Dolores’ suggestion was asparagus with aioli and garden herb salad.

For the reds, I loved the 2004 Pinot Noir Carneros. It was pure silky sandalwood and dark dried cherries with a lot of tea flavors. The wine was mellow and tasted older than an 04. I was very impressed, as other young Carneros Pinots I’ve had tend to taste a bit tight taste.

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