Recent vintages of Silver Oak have not really impressed me, and that’s sad — in the ’90s, Silver Oak was one of the most reliable wines you could buy… and you paid for that reliability, too. But then the ’00s came along and Silver Oak just wasn’t the same. Bummer.
I’m happy to report that with its 2005 Alexander Valley release (100 percent cab), Silver Oak is back in action. This velvety wine is loaded with character, starting with intense cedar and evergreen notes on the nose and big, herbal undertones — rosemary, oregano, and cloves, perhaps. The wine’s structure is tannic — this is 2005, so it’s young — but drinkable. It’s thinner than many “big” cabernets, part of my complaint with recent vintages, but in conjunction with the wine’s herbal/forest notes, this works. It needs a little less body to let those curious components shine through. The finish is light for a cab, reminding one that another sip is soon required.
A- / $70 / silveroak.com
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