Wine of the Day: Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

I led a corporate wine tasting, virtually, a few weeks ago for a group in Dallas, with the host selecting the featured wines for the evening. It was no surprise to me that the first wine selected to toast and taste the evening was Silver Oak’s Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($80.) Texas has been a huge supporter of their winery since its beginning almost five decades ago.

Silver Oak was founded in 1972 in the heart of Napa Valley in a former Oakville dairy by entrepreneur Ray Twomey Duncan and winemaker Justin Meyer, producing 1000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon in their inaugural vintage. The winery’s popularity quickly took root, with their Napa Valley Cabernet from sustainably farmed fruit from their Soda Canyon and Atlas Peak estates, and Alexander Valley Cabernet from a mix of sustainably farmed, estate vineyards dotted throughout the Sonoma region.

In the years that followed, as the Duncan family took full control of the winery, additional wines were added, but under the new label, Twomey. Silver Oak has always been a producer of only Cabernet Sauvignon.

Since their beginning, Silver Oak Cabernet has always been aged in a mix of new and used American oak barrels. The oak gives the wine some of the most identifiable characteristics, with American oak adding toasty vanilla, sweet spice, and coconut notes. The oak’s tight grain also keeps the power and intensity of robust varieties, enhancing the aroma, while also giving fruit-forward wines a note of earthy ruggedness. The oak melds with a bright pop of raspberry on the mid-palate integrating woody, herbal notes of bay leaf and sage. Aged for two years in oak, the chewy tannins emerge nicely integrated and smooth, making the wine is ready to drink upon release.

Classically paired with a grilled ribeye or strip steak, but the wine can easily pair with grilled cedar plank salmon, roasted portabella mushrooms, or aged cow’s milk cheese

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