Simi Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
The Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is incredibly food friendly and not a puzzle to pair with. It will bring out the best in grilled steaks with roasted mushrooms, Moroccan spiced lamb, and braised duck breast with carrot purée.
Blend: 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec
Since 1904, SIMI Winery has never been without a female winemaker on its staff. It began with Isabelle Simi who ran the winery for sixty-six years (1904-1970), to the first and second female graduates of the esteemed Viticulture and Enology program at UC Davis (MaryAnn Graf and Zelma Long) and continues to this day with Director of Winemaking Susan Lueker. A scientist at heart, Susan fell in love with winemaking from her first enology class. In her words: “I loved the vineyard, the interaction with the people, nature and science”. Susan joined SIMI in 2000, and today she carries on Isabelle’s legacy while creating wines with harmony and a true sense of place that promote the unique beauty and diversity of 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.