Review: 2005 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Best known for its Alexander Valley release, Silver Oak has lately been toying with a broader — and more expensive — Napa Valley Cabernet bottling from the other end of the California wine country. With a distinctively different bottle, it’s got a distinctly different character, too. We tried it out the 2005 on the week of its release.

Far softer than you’d think for a wine just off the shelf, credit Silver Oak for keeping this wine for 20 months in bottle (after 25 months in oak) to help get things harmonized and into balance. Composed of 80% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot, 7% cabernet franc, and 3% petit verdot, this is an extremely well-balanced wine that has plenty of fruit up front, with a plum and black cherry core, then gives way to some subtleties that include chocolate, leather, and spice. The tannins are already plenty light here… not sure this wine will hold up until 2032, as Silver Oak offers, but I’d certainly give it another seven or eight years.

A- / $100 /

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