Silver Oak, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, California, 2019
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Overview of the Wine
Silver Oak Cellars was started in 1972 with a simple driving philosphy - to focus production on only one varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon. What's more, they resolved to create a wine with a style all its own: not another hard, tannic red wine requiring years of aging to enjoy, but a wine of fully developed flavors and a velvety soft texture on the day it is released for sale.
Silver Oak Cellars produces Cabernet Sauvignon from two appellations. Their Napa Valley derives its fruit from both owned and contracted vineyards, and is produced entirely at their Oakville winery. Beginning in 1994, small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot have been included in their Napa blend to add complexity and softness.
Silver Oak also produces stellar Cabernet from their Alexander Valley vineyards. A critical reason for the success of this wine, and every wine they make, has always been that they create the final blend before aging it in American oak barrels and then bottles. Over the course of four-and-a-half years, the wine’s flavors, aromas, and textures have an opportunity to meld with one another and the wood’s delicate qualities to create the kind of graceful cohesion found only in the world's most elegant wines.
Organic and Sustainable.
Grape / Blend
95.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2.5% Cabernet Franc, 1.9% Merlot and 0.4% Petit Verdot
Alexander Valley, Sonoma, California
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
Our 2019 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is comprised of 95.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2.5% Cabernet Franc, 1.9% Merlot and 0.4% Petit Verdot. After blending in early 2020, our 2019 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was transferred to American oak barrels from our cooperage, The Oak, where it aged for 24 months. Blending before barrel aging—a signature of our winemaking style—allows blends to be based on the inherent qualities of their vineyard components before oak influence. Vintage to vintage, the resulting Cabernets emerge integrated and ready to drink upon release.
About the vintage: The 2019 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has notes of red cherry, raspberry, blackberry, iris, vanilla and clove. Ruby in color, this elegant wine has great acidity and lift on the mid-palate. Black currant and warm baking spices linger with a deep and fruity finish. It will provide drinking pleasure through 2047 given proper cellaring.
The winter rains started in late December, and by the time the vines awoke from their slumber, the soil profile was recharged, the lakes and reservoirs had filled up again, and the vintage was off to a healthy start. Lower-than-average spring temperatures resulted in a slightly delayed budbreak, and we received a welcome and unexpected rain event just before bloom. It did not interfere with fruit set and prepared the vines for the warm summer conditions. In 2019, the challenge was in the vineyard—to stay on top of prolific plant growth and to thin some of the crop later in the season for optimal vine balance. Summer and fall temperatures averaged a balmy 85°F with only three brief heat events during fruit ripening that brought in the usual fog pattern that makes the Alexander Valley growing region so special. Harvest commenced on September 11 and proceeded at a busy-but-steady pace for five weeks to finish on October 18. Crops were generous, and the quality we saw in the fermentations augured another outstanding vintage with layers of complexity, great depth and elegant tannins.
95 Points - Decanter
Aged in 50% new and 50% second-use American Oak from the Duncan family's The Oak cooperage in Higbee, Missouri. Matt Duncan joined me for my tasting, and he says the Petit Verdot in the blend, of which there is 0.4%, is co-fermented with the Cabernet Sauvignon, intended to bring focus to the Cabernet fruit. A compelling, brooding, muscular rendition of Cabernet from Alexander Valley with gorgeous boysenberry notes, black currants, and rose petals laced with vanillin notes and toasty oak. Medium to full-bodied with black currants, ripe blackberry and black cherry notes framed by velvety tannins laced with that irresistible vanillin note. Toasty oak spices lend a hint of sweetness, balanced by grippy acidity. Long and complex, revealing umami, garrigue, and crushed slatestone on the finish. It's a terrific wine from the Alexander Valley.
94 Points - James Suckling
Handsome and classic for a Sonoma County cabernet, this full-bodied, approachable wine offers abundant aromas of black cherries, toasted oak and tobacco backed by gorgeous black cherries and black olive flavors on moderate tannins. It’s 95% cabernet sauvignon.
Product size: 750ml