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Cakebread Napa Valley Merlot 2018

Cakebread Napa Valley Merlot 2018

“Now’s a good time to discover what made merlot such a hit in the first place, before the Sideways phenomenon knocked the wine, well, sideways. Ours stands tall with rich, round aromas and flavors of blackberry and black cherry, with mineral notes, hints of crushed stone, and balanced acidity that makes it my favorite lunchtime wine.”

– Bruce Cakebread, Co-Owner, Board Member at Cakebread


This Merlot comes from our estate vineyards throughout Napa Valley, including our Suscol Springs Ranch in the cooler southeastern reaches. Grapevines at our Suscol Springs Ranch have to struggle through rocky soils—a beneficial stress that yields smaller berries of great concentration and supple tannins. We also include grapes from our warm, nutrient rich valley floor vineyard in Rutherford. The diversity of these Merlot vineyard sites enables us to craft a wine that highlights the best of the varietal; deep fruit flavors, silky mouthfeel, bright acidity, and refined elegant tannins.

The 2018 growing season kicked off with plentiful winter rainfall to replenish the soils. Steady vine growth and berry development progressed evenly throughout the summer months. Overall, the vintage was cooler than usual and grapes reached peak maturity with balanced acidity and deep fruit flavors.




Bruce Cakebread has worked alongside his father since the founding of the family winery in 1973. He officially joined the winery in 1977, and after graduating with a degree in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California at Davis, in 1979 he took over as winemaker, overseeing all vineyard and cellar operations for the next twenty years. In 2002, Bruce became the winery’s President and Chief Operations Officer, also leading international distribution efforts, and today he serves as co-owner and a board member.

“We are very fortunate to have an excellent collection of vineyards as well as long-term relationships with some of the best growers in Napa Valley,” says Bruce. “Great vineyards, plus the fact that we’ve had only four winemakers over the past forty-five years (Jack, myself, Julianne Laks, and now Stephanie Jacobs), have allowed us to produce world-class wines of extraordinarily consistent quality and style.”

Bruce has served on the Viticulture and Enology Executive Leadership Board at UC Davis, as a member of the Executive Committee for the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, as a member of the Napa Valley Vintners Board—which he chaired in 2010 and 2013—and as Chair of the Napa Valley College Foundation Board. He has also served on the Bush Brothers Board and as an alternate for the Napa County Flood Control District.