Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnun - signs of seepage) 1979
The following notes are from the June 2011 tasting. Limited supply in our library precluded tasting of this wine in 2014. The 1979 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has a medium ruby color with brick-red edges. It has an extraordinarily fresh nose of candied apples, cassis, forest undergrowth and savory spices. This Cabernet has a fresh attack, a surprising expression of bright fruit on the palate and a long, smooth finish. Enjoy now. May need decanting due to light sediment.
Great wine is meant to be savored with family and friends. This belief is at the heart of Silver Oak Cellars, where we have crafted extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignon for over 35 years. Designed to be deliciously drinkable from the day it is released, Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon grows more supple and luxurious over time.
Silver Oak Alexander Valley has been called the world's greenest winery by The San Francisco Chronicle. Constructed between 2012-2018 the winery was built around the production of just one wine: Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a staple of restaurant lists nationwide for more than 45 years. Featuring panoramic views of Silver Oak’s 70 acres of prime Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards and surrounding 115-acre estate, the historic property features excellent volcanic soil profiles set amidst the rolling bench lands of Northern Sonoma County.
Nearly a northern extension of Napa Valley, Alexander Valley starts just north of the small, Knights Valley, and is just a few minutes drive from the Napa town of Calistoga. It is Sonoma County’s hottest AVA. But the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cooler pockets and its soft, alluvial soil is ideal for grape growing, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, some believe that Alexander Valley Cabernets truly rival the best from Napa Valley and many of the heavy-hitter producers have largely invested here.
In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and old vine Zinfandel thrive here. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have also been discovered and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and Barbera show great promise.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines.
In the Glass
High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.
Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.
Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.