Wine Of The Week: Cakebread Cellars Suscol Springs

Savor this lush red from a legendary Napa Valley winemaker.

Courtesy Cakebread Cellars, Kate Dingwall

Iconic California winery Cakebread Cellars is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, a half-century after Jack Cakebread founded the winery on a plot of Napa Valley land in 1973. And crowning their kingdom is one of the winery’s newest vineyards: Suscol Springs.

It’s a higher-elevation vineyard planted up the slopes of the Vaca mountain range, just a twenty minute drive from the city of Napa. It’s a younger site for the Cakebread family, planted as an exploration into higher elevation plots and the cooler breezes of vineyards higher up into the mountains. As the climate heats up, the grapes lower in the valley are losing their edge. These loftier vineyards still have that bright minerality from the chilly nights and cool ocean breezes.

So the Suscol Springs wines — this one is primarily Cabernet — are full bodied and rich, with a hint of minerality from the higher elevation. Drink it now, but it will only shine brighter in seven or so years. $146

Kate Dingwall is a WSET-trained sommelier and spirits writer. Her work has appeared in Wine Enthusiast, Eater,, and Food & Wine, and she pours wine at one of Canada’s top restaurants.