Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (Sonoma County, California)

Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
(Sonoma County, California)

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About the Winery:
Silver Oak Cellars is a family-owned, California winery dedicated to producing only Cabernet Sauvignon. Silver Oak was established in 1972 by Ray Duncan and Justin Meyer. It is currently operated by Ray's sons David Duncan, who serves as the President and CEO, and his brother, Tim Duncan, who serves as Executive Vice President. Silver Oak has two wineries; one in Oakville in the Napa Valley and one in Healdsburg in the Alexander Valley.

Blending & Ageing:
Our 2017 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is comprised of 95.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.6% Merlot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc, 0.3% Petit Verdot and 0.1% Malbec. In early 2018, the final blend was transferred to American oak barrels from our cooperage, The Oak, where it aged for 24 months. Half the barrels for our 2017 Alexander Valley vintage were new, providing a subtle, layered expression of bay leaf, coconut and vanilla to our wines. 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.

Varietal Composition: 95.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.6% Merlot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc, 0.3% Petit Verdot, 0.1% Malbec
Appellation: Alexander Valley
ABV: 14.2%

Tasting Notes

The inaugural vintage from our LEED Platinum and Living Building-certified Silver Oak winery is ruby in color with a purple rim. Warm and inviting, it has notes of red currant, cassis, ripe plum, cardamom and toffee. There’s depth and weight on the palate—a harmonious intensity. This wine has a long and beautiful finish, and its fine tannins will provide drinking pleasure through 2043 with proper cellaring.

Vintage Notes:
Mother Nature made a memorable impression on the 2017 vintage. In January, we welcomed epic winter rains that brought an end to the enduring five-year drought. The generous precipitation filled our water tables and woke up the vines. After an average bud break, prolific shoot and vegetation growth early in the season required close observation and much weed control and leafing to open the dense canopies. Bloom proceeded at a steady pace and set us up for a healthy crop size. In June and July, three extended heat events tested our vineyard team and culminated with high temperatures around Labor Day. While the hot weather kick-started harvest on September 4, our irrigation management and cooler, foggy mornings allowed the vines to recover and resume their trajectory towards full aromatic and physiological ripeness. We were happy to see sugars and acids at normal levels. The pace of harvest was steady, and we had thankfully finished picking before the wildfires started on the night of October 8. While 2017 certainly presented its share of challenges, it was also the jubilant, inaugural vintage for our new, state-of-the art facility we had been planning, designing and building since we purchased the Alexander Valley property in 2012.

Ratings & Reviews

91 Points - Decanter Magazine (2016 Vintage):
"Concentrated and intense nose with dense blackcurrant fruit, elegant pencil shavings and herbal notes. Grippy tannins with cassis framed by vanilla oak." (9/6/2020)