Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1995
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Napa offerings from Silver Oak tend to be less herbaceous and more oriented toward Cabernet Sauvignon's black fruit spectrum than the Alexander Valley cuvees. They are every bit as exotic and ostentatious as the Alexander Valley cuvees, but more classic, tannic, perhaps longer-lived, and slightly less approachable.
Silver Oak wines are supple, explosively fruity, and deliver copious quantities of glycerin, extract, and richness wrapped in generous quantities of American oak. Critics have argued that the wine does not age particularly well, but that has largely been proven a myth. I doubt it will last as long as Chateau Montelena, Dunn, or other Napa Cabernets with a 30-40 year aging potential, but these wines have a broad window of drinkability, being delicious at release, and able to sustain their fruit and character for 15 or more years.
Silver Oak was started in 1972 with a simple driving philosophy - 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 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.