Ray Twomey Duncan saw the potential of Napa and Sonoma in the late 1960s and was determined to make the best wine possible. He was soon purchasing orchards and pastures in Alexander Valley and Napa Valley for his vineyards and planted Cabernet Sauvignon. Ray and co-founder Justin Meyer had bold vision of a winery, focusing on this one varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon, rich and complex from the day it was released, yet with the age ability of the finest Cabs in the world.
Silver Oak’s Alexander Valley vineyards provided their first harvest in 1972, and by 1979 the first vintage came from the Napa Valley vineyards. These two wines, while different, are both excellent wines showing the best of their appellations. In 1994 Daniel Baron came on board as the new winemaker. Graduating from UC Davis in 1978, Daniel moved to France to work two vintages in Bordeaux, motherland for Cabernet Sauvignon. This provided Daniel his vision in producing world quality Cabs.
Ray firmly believes that dedication to quality is foremost in production of his Cabernet wines. He even has separate wineries dedicated to the production of these two wines. The Alexander Valley Estate winery is located in Geyserville in the northern end of Alexander Valley. The Napa Valley Estate, which was recently rebuilt, is located in Oakville, in the heart of the richest area of Napa Valley between Silverado Trail and Hwy 29 on Oakville Crossroad.
The 2005 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was released in August 2009. While 100% Cabernet, the grapes come from several carefully selected vineyards in Alexander Valley. It has a dark garnet color with aromas of dark fruit, in particular black cherry and currant with a clove and lavender. On the palate, the dark fruit continues to show through mixed with clove, cinnamon and licorice. The tannins are bold but round and balance, leading to a long rich finish. The bright fruit, balanced tannins and good acidity provides a wine that is fun to drink now but will age for the next 10-20 years.
The 2004 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon includes 86% Cabernet Sauvignon fruit plus 7% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. This blend results in a wine that is complex and elegant with a variety of fruits and spices backed up by soft velvety tannins and body. It has a deep ruby color and aromas of black plum, chocolate, rose, cedar and olive. This is absolutely a great wine for those special occasions and friends. The complexity, balance, velvety tannins and smooth finish makes this wine perfect to drink now but will only get better over the next 8 – 12 years.
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