December 21, 2006

Silver Oak Tasting

On Monday evening, December 11, Lee’s hosted a Winemaker’s tasting at their tasting room on Lake Mead near Buffalo. What a wonderful event! I attended with Don Tenney and Mark Dion (two fellow wineaux) and we shared opinions – sometimes differing – on the wines.

The winery was Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars, and the information session was ably presented by the winemaker, Daniel Baron. He went into a history of Silver Oak and Twomey, and had seven bottles of yummy wines to share. Following are the wines and my tasting notes.

2001 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cab

This one had an almost garnet color – still enough ruby to indicate youth -- and was medium- to full-bodied. I detected aromas of black currant, raspberry, herbs, and vanilla. Very smooth, with silky, well-rounded tannins and dark fruit with a medium finish.

2002 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cab

I liked this one even more! Darker red than the 2001. I detected black cherry on the nose. It had a rich texture and was medium-full bodied. Some tannin on the finish, which was long and enjoyable.

2003 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cab

This is drinking beautifully even for a young cab. Start to finish it's velvety smooth with black fruit. This one is really almost sweet for a cab. Definitely needs time. Tannins are upfront but not off-putting. This was a special treat, because this one is not due to be released until August of 2007!

2001 Silver Oak Napa Valley

A rounder and creamier wine than the Alexander Valley cab. Just as silky as the Alexander. Dark purple in color and fragrances of dark fruit.

2002 Silver Oak Napa

I liked this better than the 2002 Alexander Valley and the 2001 Napa. Still needs time, but is silky, with a lot of plums on the front end of the nose. Creamy texture with juicy fruit. Tannins are “right there” indicating a young wine. This will not be officially released until Silver Oak’s Release Day on February 3, 2007.

2002 Twomey Merlot

Talk about love at first sip! This could bring me back to Merlots! I was completely impressed with this Merlot. The color was purpley-red to the rim. Almost port-like in texture and body. Amazing nose with plum, berry, vanilla and chocolate. This is what I imagine Merlot to be, with dark ripe fruit, cocoa, and espresso with a long chocolate and coffee finish. This is pretty luscious, with a wonderful mouthfeel, gripping tannins and a medium-long, satisfying finish. Not your grandma’s Merlot! Miles would have loved this.

2003 Twomey Merlot

Similar to the 2002, but obviously a bit younger, more extracted and fruit forward. Very big for a Merlot, with gripping tannins and an intertwined core of fruit and acid. Yummy, but I was already sold on the 2002. This is a brand new wine, having been released in October of 2006.

I thought it was unusual to have the Merlots tasted after the Cabs, but the Cabs as a group were very smooth and silky, while the Merlots were big wines in their own right and did not fade after the Cabs. I was impressed enough to blow my budget on some 2002 Twomey.

By the way, if you have the space available in your schedule and budget, Silver Oak will be throwing their Release Party on February 3, 2007. Click here for information direct from the winery. Promises to be a blast!

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