The 1991 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley cuvee, which will be released in September, 1995, exhibits classic cassis notes without the subtle herbaceousness of the Alexander Valley wine. It is a multi-layered, fabulously rich, intense wine with full body, a velvety texture, and oodles of fruit, glycerin, and soft tannin in the finish.
Silver Oak's Cabernet Sauvignons are among the most popular wines of California. I have heard mindboggling stories about the huge throng of people, ranging from lawyers in three-piece suits, to show girls and Hell's Angels on motorcycles, that shows up at the winery on the day Silver Oak releases its newest vintage. What a testament to the immensely popular style of these wines! Production has increased to approximately 10,000 cases of the Napa Valley cuvee and 30,000 cases of the Alexander Valley Cabernet. However, 65% of the production is sold within California and 60% of the total production goes directly to restaurants. Beginning in 1992, the Bonny's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, a sometimes great, sometimes controversial wine because of its overt herbaceous character, will be blended with the Napa Valley wine, thus ending the nightmarish distribution problems created by the tiny production of this single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.
I have often pondered why Silver Oak's Cabernets are so popular. Certainly Justin Meyer has always believed in harvesting very ripe, physiologically mature fruit. Moreover, he has never spared any expense in utilizing a high percentage of new oak. For example, the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is aged for thirty months in 100% new oak and the Alexander Valley wine is aged for thirty months in 50% new oak and 50% used barrels. It seems to me the reason for the success of these wines is that Meyer has always recognized (1) that wine is a beverage of pleasure, (2) that the wine's texture is of considerable significance, and (3) that excessive acidification of his Cabernets would compromise their character as well as hedonistic value. This philosophy has ensured a voluptuous, rich, chewy style of Cabernet, without the shrill, tart, high acid, compact, lean, unpleasant character of many other California Cabernets. Justin Meyer's winemaking decisions have resulted in lavishly rich, exotic, crowd-pleasing Cabernets that can drink fabulously well young but have the cunning ability to age well for 12-15 or more years.