Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 96JS
The Novaks (of Spottswoode fame) invited Ray Duncan for his first visit to Napa and Sonoma. Ray spotted a report published by Bank of America that forecast a significant increase in the average wine consumption of the American consumer which at the time was around 2 bottles per person per year. Intrigued by this as well as the region, Ray purchased his first land in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley in 1970 in partnership with Jack Novak (100 acres called Los Amigos Vineyard).
Originally called Duncan-Meyer, the winery’s first name didn’t sound right or look appealing on the label. Bonny suggested ‘Silver Oak’ based on the dairy barn’s location half way between Oakville and the Silverado Trail. They presented the name to Ray, who wasn’t keen on its sound at first.
80.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.6% Merlot, 2.9% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 0.7% Malbec. 24 months in oak
Sustainable and LEED Platinum Certified Napa Green
96 Points James Suckling
This is a big upgrade in finesse and clarity to such a popular, premium cabernet from Napa. It shows lots of blackberry, tar, cedar and oak-tree aromas that follow through to a full yet toned palate of fine, integrated tannins and a vivid finish. Owner David Duncan explained that the American oak they use in the wine for aging now comes 100% from their own barrel-making facilities, which tones down the vanilla character in the wine. Really impressive and delicious. It’s a joy to drink now, but can age.
This Napa Valley Cabernet is ruby in color with notes of blackberry, blueberry, roasted coffee beans, coriander and a hint of nutmeg. Smooth upon entry, this wine is broad and plush on the mid-palate. It has an elegant density throughout and a long, generous finish. With proper cellaring conditions, this wine will age beautifully through 2041.
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