| Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2004|
Alexander Valley, California
2004 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a refined and complex wine that combines subtlety and depth. It has a dark ruby color with a deep red edge and displays aromas of fresh blackberries, violets, cola, nutmeg and licorice. In the mouth, the wine has a juicy attack and offers great expression of fruit and spice on the mid-palate. Its fruit-driven finish is long and elegant. Properly cellared, this wine should give drinking pleasure through 2023.
The 2004 growing season started with the earliest budbreak in history and ended with a very early harvest with light yields.Unseasonably warm late-winter temperatures induced the earliest budbreak in memory. Once the shoots started growing, bloom, veraison and ripening took place at least three weeks ahead of their normal schedule. The early bloom was interrupted by cool spring conditions, and this caused the vines to set a light crop.
There was very little morning fog in the Alexander Valley in late July and early August. As a result, the fruit reached ideal maturity quickly, and we started picking on August 20th, 22 days earlier than usual. We finished crushing on September 14th. A harvest that normally takes six to eight weeks was concluded in a little over three. This was due in part to lighter yields, but was a very compressed schedule nonetheless, with very little down time in the fermenting room. A heat wave in early September was punctuated by an enormous forest fire near the Geysers that almost reached our Miraval Ranch. Thankfully, our grapes were spared, although, it made for an exciting and memorable crush.
Blending and Aging
2004 Alexander Valley, a blend of wine from several different vineyards, is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. We blended the vineyard lots in early 2005 and transferred the wine to 50% new and 50% once-used American oak barrels for aging. Blending prior to barreling allows us to achieve a balance of the wine’s natural elements, such as fruit and tannin, before they are influenced by oak. The wine was then aged in barrel for approximately 25 months and another 15 months in bottle to harmonize its components before release.
Entrepreneur Raymond Twomey Duncan first visited the Napa Valley in the late 1960s. Taken by the area’s rugged beauty – and the potential of its fledgling wine industry – he soon began purchasing orchards, pastures and vineyards throughout the Napa and Alexander Valleys. Looking for an insider to advise him, Ray approached Justin Meyer in 1972, asking him to plant and manage his vineyards. Then a winemaker for the Christian Brothers, Justin agreed under one condition: In addition to growing grapes, he wanted to create a winery that would forever raise the standards of California wine. Silver Oak Cellars was born. Ray and Justin had a bold vision for their winery. Rather than producing six or seven varietals, they would devote all their resources to producing a single wine – Cabernet Sauvignon. What’s more, their wine would be a new style of Cabernet Sauvignon, rich and complex yet deliciously drinkable from the day it was released. In 1972, Silver Oak’s Alexander Valley vineyards produced the harvest that would become our first Cabernet Sauvignon. Seven years later, we harvested the grapes for our first Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, now produced as a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varietals. From the beginning, these two wines have consistently represented the very best of their appellations, attracting a loyal following across the country and around the world. After selecting Daniel Baron to succeed him as winemaker in 1994, Justin sold his share of Silver Oak to the Duncan family in 2001. Today, the Duncans continue to lead Silver Oak, carrying forward the vision established by Ray and Justin more than 35 years ago.
Cabernet goes well with beef lamb, goose and most red meats, especially a juicy barbequed steak, grilled and smoked foods. It also does well with brie, cheddar cheese and chocolate.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a red grape variety grown throughout the world. It is the undisputed king of red grapes, and not only as a result of its fabulous popularity as the central grape in Bordeaux. Cabernet Sauvignon is a hardy, versatile grape, perfectly
Pan-Seared Filet Mignon with Cabernet Sauce
Add french fries, glazed carrots, and a salad of romaine wedges with blue cheese dressing. End with cheesecake and raspberries.
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) chilled butter
4 filet mignon steaks (each about 4 ounces)
1/3 cup chopped shallots
2/3 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1 generous tablespoon drained capers
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of steaks with salt and generous amount of ground black pepper. Add to skillet and cook to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium. Transfer steaks to 4 plates. Tent with foil.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sauté 1 minute. Add wine, capers, and mustard; simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley. Reduce heat to medium-low. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Spoon over steaks.
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