| Silver oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 |
Napa Valley, California
2005 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a nuanced wine that illustrates the results of cool, gradual ripening and a deft balance of varietal components. It has a dark garnet color and a complex nose of boysenberry, truffles, wild game, soy and black pepper. On the palate, the wine has a silky mouthfeel and an elegant, long finish with a slight tannic grip. With proper cellaring it should give drinking pleasure through 2032.
Our 2005 Napa Valley, a blend of wine from several selected vineyards in the appellation, is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. We blended the vineyard lots in early 2006 and transferred the wine to 100% new American oak barrels for aging. Blending prior to barreling allows us to achieve a balance of the wine�s primary 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 20 months in bottle to harmonize its components before release.
International Wine Cellar - 91 Points:
"Good deep red-ruby. Musky aromas of cassis, licorice, game, tobacco leaf and subtle brown spices. Velvety-sweet and deep, with hints of tobacco leaf, mint and herbs giving definition to the middle palate. Nicely bright but youthfully tight wine, finishing with broad tannins. Carrying a moderate 13.5% alcohol. Still tight, but then this won't be released until next winter. Incidentally, following Silver Oak's purchase of a vineyard in Soda Canyon in 1999, this wine now relies less on contract fruit.
Wine & Spirits - 92 Points:"A classic Alexander Valley cabernet, this is dark and cedary, and as smooth as velvet. The tannins last, built on black-cherry-skin flavors and earthy, root vegetable notes. With time, that black cherry flavor should become more prominent, balancing the wine's earthy complexities. Drink this over the next several years with anything meaty, from duck and game birds to steak."
Silver Oak Cellars was started in 1972 with a simple driving philosphy - to focus production on only one varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon. What's more, they resolved to create a wine with a style all its own: not another hard, tannic red wine requiring years of aging to enjoy, but a wine of fully developed flavors and a velvety soft texture on the day it is released for sale.
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.
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 suited to producing powerful, lustrous red wines that can age for decades and continually get better.
The grapes of the Cabernet Sauvignon vine are tiny and strong, with thick skins that impart a great deal of deep red color to the wines they produce. The vines can grow virtually anywhere, from the cold to the hot, and with soil compositions ranging all across the map. The tannin in Cabernet Sauvignon wines, leeched out from the thick skins, gives the wine a structure it can build upon for decades. As the wine ages, the tannins mature and smooth into complex layers of flavor that lead to truly exceptional wines.
In France, Cabernet Sauvignon has a rich history as a part of many ? if not most ? of the country?s greatest wines. While not the most prolific wine in France, or even within the Bordeaux region ? that honor belongs to Merlot ? it is probably the grape most associated with French wine as a whole. Outside of France, the wine has achieved remarkable success in the United States. California is second only to France in Cabernet Sauvignon production, with a number of highly acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon wines coming from Californian vineyards. Because of the climate, California Cabernet Sauvignon tends to be very deep-colored and extremely full-bodied, with a strong taste of plum-style fruit.
The range of tastes available in Cabernet Sauvignon wines is one of their many draws. Because of the wide range of climates the grapes can grow in, the expression of climate and soil that exists in all wine has its best presentation in Cabernet Sauvignon. The differences between a hot and a cold climate Cabernet Sauvignon are immense, and with such a scale of countries to choose from, one can follow the evolution of that taste change. From the hottest wines of Lebanon, Australia and California to the cold wines of New Zealand or Washington, one can follow the dropping in fruit, the loss of deep color, and the increase in acidity. Tasting a well-made Cabernet Sauvignon is an experience unlike any other, and it is no accident that the vintages hailed by the wine world as being the best and brightest, dating back many decades, if not further than a century, are made from this noble grape.
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