Compare and contrast Kistler vs. Cakebread

I have a friend who has a chance to share a case of Kistler chardonnay - assorted SVs. He says he and his wife like Cakebread and asks, “Is the Kistler like it?” I know the answer is that he should taste before buying but this guy likes to do things backwards. I have never had any Cakebread. Anyone have any thoughts as to whether he will like Kistler if he likes Cakebread?

Kistlers are far more weighty, bright and intense, especially in their youth. Cakebread is much more crisp and simple. Even the Reserve. They aren’t very interesting wines. Way too pricey for what they are.

Kistler–overpriced, overrated, pretty much mailing list and restaurant only.

Cakebread–overpriced, overrated, pretty much restaurant only with a little at retail.


I don’t know what the fuss is about Cakebread. As the Chards go, I agree with Ian, pretty simple, thin, two-dimensional wines (fruit & oak), not even in the same league with Kistler, which actually produces some pretty damn good wines.

I’ve enjoyed some Kistler wines and some Cakebread wines at different times, but the point is true – Kistler, on the whole, will be more viscous, weightier, riper wines. The Chards are definitely bigger boned, with the Cakebread sleeker and not quite as able to handle the oak as well. Stylistically in the same league, but they’re kind of like different cogs in the same machine – a power hitter and a slap hitter with occasional gap doubles.

Cakebread is also very uniform; all Napa fruit, very tropical and round, hits one note and, for those that like it, hits it well. Many do it at least as well for the same price or less (Neyers Napa comes to mind) but it’s known because it’s a recognized commodity from back in the 1990s when there was much less competition. Also WAAAAAAY more of it.
Kistler wines will show a lot more minerality and acidity (relatively speaking) than Cakebread, and unless he gets excited about tasting the subtle changes from vineyard to vineyard, the cost difference may be lost on him. I would offer to get together and help him try both side by side over a good meal, and if he isn’t thrilled about them help him sell off the remaining Kistlers.

always liked the cakebread sauv blanc

Neither is Burgundy.


And neither costs as much as a GC either.

6 words: Windy Oaks Estate One Acre Chardonnay

I usually compare CA chardonnay to village wines. [tease.gif]

w/r/t most CA chards, that’s probably a fair comparison