Silver Oak produces some of the greatest Cabernet Sauvignons in California. The winery was started “with a handshake” between two friends, Raymond Duncan and Justin Meyer, in 1972. Since its inception, Silver Oak has been dedicated to making the best Cabernet Sauvignon possible, and have focused solely on this legendary varietal. With some changes in management and a spirit for innovation, Silver Oak grew into a wine giant and enjoyed massive success. In 2006, Silver Oak experienced their first major setback with a fire that destroyed their historic Oakville winery. But with their innovative spirit intact, they moved passed the heartbreak to rebuild a state of the art winery that attract thousands of visitors and sits on the cutting edge of today’s wine industry. The winery holds fast to the thought that their best wines are still ahead of them, and that keeps them driving to innovate and create the best Cabs in the state.
Silver Oak ages their wine exclusively in American Oak Barrels and is the only winery to own their own cooperage, giving them full control over the barreling production and aging process. Silver Oak toasts their barrels to add aroma and flavors, like vanilla, to their wine. Aging in Oak adds tannic qualities and adds spiced flavors that would be familiar to bourbon drinkers. According to Silver Oak’s Nat Weis:
“American oak is crucial to what our fans know and love about Silver Oak. Grape growing and winemaking are the foundational and structural elements of our wine style, but American oak adds flair and finish to what ultimately sits in your glass. I’m convinced that oak provides some of the critical nuance that makes our wines so interesting at 10, 20 and 30 years of age.”
Silver Oak is also dedicated to sustainability. They practice precision farming, water conservancy, and energy efficiency in both their vineyards and their wineries. Their Oakville winery features 1,464 solar panels, enough to power more than 35% of their annual energy needs. Since installation, the winery has reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to what an average passenger car emits over 122 years.
Silver Oak is known for their food friendly Napa Valley and Alexander Valley Cabernets that come in various vintages.
They also hold a collection of “library wines” that are available to view as the last stop on their walking tour through the winery.
Their notes for The 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet are as follows: “Our 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has an opaque crimson color with a purplish hue. The alluring nose draws you in with notes of cassis, black cherry, pipe tobacco, salted caramel, cocoa beans and fresh strawberry. This full-bodied wine enters with a depth of flavor and offers mouth-coating, velvety tannins and flavors of cream soda and red fruit. Black currant and vanilla notes crescendo through the palate to the lengthy finish. This wine is drinkable upon release, but given proper cellaring conditions, can be enjoyed through 2040.”
And the notes for their 2014 Alexander Valley Cabernet: "Our 2014 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has a garnet color with a ruby red rim and bluish tint. It has an alluring nose of chocolate-covered strawberries, vanilla, nutmeg, truffle and sage. On the palate, it has a broad yet delicate entry and offers cranberry flavors. These flavors are complimented by raspberry and pluot flavors and savory black olive characters on the mid-palate. The wine finishes with silky tannins, cedar and bramble flavors with excellent length and return. Given proper cellaring conditions, this wine will be deliciously drinkable through 2038.”
They are releasing their next bottling, the Alexander Valley Cabernet 2015, on August 3rd, 2019.