Cakebread Cellars Two Creeks Vineyards Pinot Noir 2018

My burgeoning love affair with pinot noir continues to grow with me trying some absolutely lovely wines including this great example of a New World pinot noir from Cakebread Cellars packed full of lingering red fruit flavours. Pinot noir is perhaps the most difficult grape to produce wine from and the most influenced by the ‘terroir’ or the location of the vineyard and the skills of the winemaker. Classic Pinots are famously produced in cooler climates like the most famous Pinots from the Burgundy region, in France, to those from Central Otago in New Zealand and Oregon in the United States.

Fresh and fruity New world Pinot Noir is wonderful with fatty fish like salmon and duck, roast or barbecued lamb or chicken with a hint of smoke and charring. The acidity helps cut through the richness of the food. It pairs with figs and roast beetroot and would be a great match with either served in a goat’s cheese salad. The fruit and acidity would also balance sweet sticky and slightly spicy Asian food like Char Sui Pork and Crispy Duck Pancakes.

Cakebread Cellars Two Creeks Vineyards Pinot Noir 2018

Cakebread Cellars Two Creeks Vineyards Pinot Noir 2018

Cakebread Cellars is a family-run winery that has been producing wines from California’s Napa and Anderson Valleys for almost 50 years. Anderson Valley in Mendocino County is one of the coolest wine-growing regions and perfectly suited for the pinot noir grape. Two Creeks Vineyards is as the name suggests produced from two vineyards sitting near the Pacific coast, where cooling coastal fogs reduce the Californian temperatures. Formally apple orchards the vineyards produce wines with perfectly balanced ripe fruit and acidity.

In 2018 the grapes were harvested in the cooler evening temperatures to maximise the natural acidity and hand-sorted before fermenting with wild yeast in small batch tanks from each vineyard. The wines were transferred to French oak barrels before being blended and aged for ten months. The first thing to hit you is the ripe black cherry and floral aromas of violet and rose petals. This is followed by lots of fresh strawberry and raspberry flavours on the palate which lasts well into the finish. A little hint of oak and vanilla is perfectly balanced with silky smooth tannins and just a lick of minerality. I think Cakebread Cellars Two Creeks Vineyards Pinot Noir is practically made for roast lamb with plenty of rosemary and garlic. I found it a really enjoyable wine.

Grape variety                                 Pinot Noir

Country of origin                           USA

Region                                             Mendocino County / Anderson Valley

Vintage                                            2018

Alcohol                                            14.2%


Cakebread Cellars are committed to sustainable and environmentally friendly winemaking. These include precise irrigation management, reduced use of synthetic fertilisers and herbicides, and managing the use of machinery like tractors in the vineyards. They use falcons for natural bird control, limit tree removal and establish wildlife corridors.

Published by Christian Gott - An Island Chef

I am a food and drink writer, chef, one-time publican and restaurant manager, and qualified ASET trainer with over thirty years of experience in hospitality. I now live and work in the Channel Islands with my beautiful family. I’ve worked on six islands and in probably just about every type of business you can imagine, from beachside burger joints to world-famous pizza restaurants and in more than a few really good food pubs, historic country inns, and a former RAC Blue Riband UK Hotel of the Year. I have helped to create a small informal dinning group, been a group executive chef for eighteen diverse bars and eateries, demonstrated at food festivals, and contributed to the Real Food Festival Cookery Book, national and local publications, and podcasts. I am a proud member of the Guild of Food Writers and the British Guild of Beer Writers.

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