Review: 2018 Wines of Bread & Butter
Bread & Butter Wines has rolled out its 2018 portfolio, including a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Chardonnay, and a Pinot Noir. We reviewed their 2018 Rose previously. The source of their grapes is uncertain, but the company is based in Napa Valley and tout wines that are “easy-going and approachable, complementing everyday occasions all year long.” Let’s give them a try.
2018 Bread & Butter Cabernet Sauvignon – Poured in the glass, this wine is deep, dark purple. The nose offers fruity Cabernet notes of blackcurrant and plum along with a touch of vanilla on the close. The vanilla plays a larger role on the palate and is actually the first thing that hits. Next comes some blackberry and light chocolate notes. This is a young Cabernet, but it has very gentle tannins, and the wood comes forward mostly in the vanilla flavor. The mouthfeel is silky, and the finish is medium in length as the flavor fades. This is a good starter wine to turn people on to California Cabernet Sauvignon, but it lacks the muscle and complexity of more expensive examples from the Napa region. B / $16
2018 Bread & Butter Chardonnay – Straw yellow in color, this wine presents creamy vanilla and butter on the nose. The palate follows suit, with buttery vanilla notes coming first, followed by a bit of green apple. There is some noticeable acidity at play, which helps it pair well with a range of foods. I had it with some pasta with pesto and it worked well, but it would go even better with an Alfredo sauce. The finish is creamy and medium in length. This is a typical but enjoyable California Chardonnay with the malolactic fermentation providing much of the wine’s buttery profile. But, of course, it is “Bread & Butter.” B / $16
2018 Bread & Butter Pinot Noir – This Pinot is darker purple in the glass than most, even when this young. The nose is fairly restrained, but notes of vanilla and cherry come through. On the palate, the cherry is more pronounced, along with a surprising dose of milk chocolate, which is uncommon in Pinot Noir. Vanilla notes follow, and the finish is medium in length as the vanilla fades. When I first sampled the wine, there was also a slightly medicinal character, but it disappeared over time, and I would recommend letting the wine sit open for an hour before serving. B / $16