There are a number of unusual things about Silver Oak Cellars. Firstly they make only Cabernet Sauvignon, strange here given that even if the Cab’s the main event there’s usually plenty of serious tinkering with other varietals. Secondly the wines are aged exclusively in American oak. Also they produce two versions, one Cabernet from Napa Valley fruit and the other from fruit grown in the Alexander Valley. It was three vintages of the Napa Valley blend – 2008, 2005 and 2002 – that were shown by Vivien Gay at the Napa Valley Vintners’ tasting this summer. In addition identical vintages of single vineyard Merlot from Twomey Cellars were also shown, Silver Oak’s distinctly francophone sister property.
Posts Tagged ‘Silver Oak Cellars’
The Napa Valley is a surprisingly small wine region, just one eighth of the size of Bordeaux, but it is extremely well-endowed in the terroir department. Its varied soils and topography are vital to the valley’s greatness, whether it be the famous Rutherford dust, its red rock terraces or the deep, volcanic hillside soils of Stag’s Leap. Yet the most important influence on the place isn’t the land at all. It’s not even Stephen Spurrier, though his 1976 Paris tasting did put Napa on the map. It’s actually the sea.
Despite its big reputation, the Napa Valley’s a relatively small wine region, just an eighth of the size of Bordeaux. Given the acquisition of some pretty prominent names by big business over the past few years, it’s heartening to discover that 95% of the Napa’s wineries still remain family owned. These days it’s maybe not quite the beatnik, boho crowd of the 1960s – you’ll have needed a fairly healthy bank [credit] account to have opened shop in the Napa Valley in the past decade or so – but many of Napa’s founding families are still around too.