Redefining California Cabernet: Silver Oak Cellars
© Silver Oak Cellars in Napa Valley

Redefining California Cabernet: Silver Oak Cellars

Silver Oak Cellars at Sunset

© Silver Oak Cellars at Sunset

Raymond T. Duncan recognized the potential of the Napa Valley when he first visited in the 1960s. By 1972 he had purchased enough land in the Napa and Alexander Valleys to approach Justin Meyer. Working together they founded Silver Oak Cellars with the goal to redefine the standards of great California Wine. Over 40 years later they have succeeded, becoming a benchmark for California Cabernet Sauvignon.

Fermentation Room

© Fermentation Room

Devoting everything to producing the best possible single varietal Cabernet Sauvignon rather than a range of wines, Ray and Justin sought to create a wine that was both rich and powerful, agreeable and approachable. With production facilities in both valleys, each property was focused on producing one outstanding wine. Over time additional land plots were purchased and long-term buying contracts were established, yet the focus remained on producing one outstanding blended Cabernet Sauvignon wine. To ensure the wines are eminently drinkable upon release but still have great potential for cellaring, the wines are aged 25 months in American oak barrels before resting for 15-20 months in the bottle.

Alexander Valley Cabernet

© Alexander Valley Cabernet

But like most wine producing estates, Silver Oak has faced change. In 1994 Meyer stepped down as head winemaker, appointing Daniel Baron as his successor. Shortly thereafter in 2001, Meyer sold his shares of the business to the remaining Duncan family. Today the estate is run by Ray’s sons Tim and David. Then again in 2006 a fire claimed Bonny’s Chai, an emblematic homestead of Silver Oak. By 2008 a new winery was consecrated and Silver Oak Cellars continues to produce acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

The Wines of Silver Oak Cellars

Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (Alexander Valley)

Silver Oak Cellars Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 201089 Points, Wine Spectator. “Aromas of vanilla, mocha, dill and anise impart complex scents, while the flavors fold over to the palate, joining taut dark berry and cherry notes, supported by firm, tight tannins. Drink now through 2022.”

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