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New Customers Save $30* with code SEPTNEW30
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Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
Silver Oak has consistently produced some of the most sought-after, highly regarded Cabernet Sauvignons in the world. Since the early 1970's, their goal has been to craft full-flavored Cabernets with velvety soft textures. The zealous devotion of their customers is a testament to their success. True to the Silver Oak style, the 2002 is an opulent wine with darkchocolate, berry liqueur and black plum flavors and aromas. A great vintage, a great wine – for the wine enthusiast, collector or as the perfect gift.
Silver Oak Cellars 2002 Napa Valley is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. It was blended in early 2003 and transferred from tank to 100% new American oak barrels for aging. Silver Oak blends prior to barreling to achieve a balance of the wine's natural elements, such as fruit and tannin, before they are inﬂuenced by oak. The wine is aged in barrel for approximately 25 months to harmonize its components, and another 20 months in bottle before its release.
Silver Oak 2002 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is an opulent wine of great depth and concentration. It displays a dark, garnet color and aromas of black plum, cassis liqueur, rose petals, nutmeg and sandalwood. The palateoffers a mouth-coating texture and a wonderful progression of flavors from berry fruit to tobacco to dark chocolate, culminating in an extraordinarily long finish reminiscent of a dark chocolate truffle filled with berry liqueur. Properly cellared, it should provide drinking pleasure until 2028.
Not surprisingly, my favorite Napa bottling is the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and a dollop of Petit Verdot. Aromas of olive-tinged, creme de cassis intermixed with sweet vanillin and smoky oak lead to a sweet, chunky, ripe, cedary wine with an attractive texture, an expansive, fruit-forward style, and a spicy finish. It should drink well for 10-12 years.
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.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.
In the Glass
When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.
Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.
Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.