Wine Dine and Play: Silver Oak 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Silver Oak 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Silver Oak wines in Napa Valley produces cabernet in Oakville, California and in Sonoma since 1972

Life is a Cabernet
Oakville, California
Wine Style: Cabernet, New World
Average Price: $$$
Overall Rating: 94 points
Article Written in August 2013
Article Updated on April 2019
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:

Château or Vineyard Owner:
David Duncan
David Duncan is the owner of Silver Oak Wines

Picture courtesy of Richard Jennings 2012

Daniel Baron
Daniel Baron is the winemaker for silver Oak and inventor of the Berry Sensory Analysis

In 2001, I introduced myself to wine while working in the Restaurant industry. Prior to that I was always in the kitchen, where you drink beer and hard liquor. I moved to the Front of the House because I wanted to learn about restaurants as a whole, not just, what happened in the kitchen. I saw how the servers worked, and the flow of the front of the house. Also, they made a lot more money then staff in the kitchen made. As part of learning, came the wine. Before that point, I may have had one or two glasses of Ernest and Julio Gallo, thought it was disgusting, and wondered if this was wine, then why was it a billion dollar or more industry every year. Well, Ernest and Julio Gallo are night and day compared to any better wineries especially Silver Oak Cellars in Napa Valley.

Life is a Cabernet
Since 1972 Silver Oak has been producing exceptional, food-friendly Cabernet's that is aged in American oak from both Alexander Valley and Napa Valley. In 2000, they formed a partnership with A & K Cooperage located in Higbee, Missouri, 40 miles north of Columbia. A & K Cooperage is a small, family-owned company that has produced premium oak barrels for over 30 years. It takes 80 years to grow an American white oak to maturity and another two years to properly age the wood. From there, the wood is toasted and handcrafted into a 59-gallon barrel.

The Vineyards of silver Oak where they grow the cabernet grape
Silver Oak Wines / The Vineyard

In 2009, the Director of Winemaking, Daniel Baron, implemented the use of a break-through method called Berry Sensory Analysis to better determine the maturity level of the fruit and ensure the harvest of the Cabernet Sauvignon was at its optimal ripeness. Traditional decisions to harvest were based on juice chemistry, degrees Brix (% sugar), pH, and Total Acidity. However, studies and practical observations have shown that grapes with the same juice chemistry can make very different wines. The Berry Sensory Analysis is a process that takes into consideration the pulp, seeds, and skin to determine maturity. 
In 2016, Silver Oak's Oakville winery became the first commercial winery in the world to earn the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum Certification for efficient energy use. When I first saw a bottle of Silver Oak, while taking basic wine courses, I knew it was a stretch for me to pay more than $10.00 or $15.00 for a bottle, and then I saw the price tag on Silver Oak over $100.00. Now, remember, this was the beginning of my introductions to wine, and now, I will pay $100.00 from time to time for a few good bottles of wine. I still look at Screaming Eagle and Romani Conti and say that they are way too expensive for me to purchase. 

I enjoyed my first bottle of Silver Oak many years after I sold them to customers while working in the restaurants of Atlanta. The rule in these restaurants was you can sell it, but if it is not offered by the glass, then you cannot drink it unless you are buying it. Well, that was in dirt-poor days when there was no way I would buy a $100.00 bottle of wine. I went to Napa Valley for the first time in the summer of 2013, and funny enough the silver Oak winery was not on my main list of places to visit. I had three days to see my favorites from Sonoma and Napa. When I left the Stag’s Leap Winery, I was on my way to Opus One Vineyard, when I drove right by Silver Oak and stopped.

The entrance to Silver Oak Wines in Oakville, California
Silver Oak Wines / The Entrance

The Estate sits on a beautiful property near the Napa River, with the main house standing out in the center of the main vineyard. The main site to see on the property was a wood building resembling a lighthouse, but built geometrically like a tower, with a guard shack on top. This is the main logo on the wine bottle. The tasting room was built into the main house, and like most tasting rooms in wine country, had many items related to the vineyard and Napa for sale such as wine books, shirts, and much more. 

The tasting house on the property of Silver Oak wines in Oakville, California
Silver Oak Wines / The Tasting House

Napa is known as the King of Cab, and Silver Oak Cellars motto is that “Life is a Cabernet,” with that, the main productions they have are from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. They carry two main bottles Cabernet’s, one that is estate grown in Napa, and the second is the Alexander Valley Cabernet from Sonoma. Also in the Silver Oak family is Twomey Vineyards, which has two locations for growth, one in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma, and the other location in the Anderson Valley of Mendocino County, to the north of Napa and Sonoma. 

The Alexander Valley Cabernet has a complex but very fruity structure, strong tannins, but a smooth spiced and silky finish that screams for more. With proper storage in a cellar, the wine will last 20 years for the enjoyment of the owner who purchased it. The Silver Oak Cellars Cabernet’s both Alexander and the Napa Estate are very robust, and a strong fruit flavored Cabernet. When I enjoyed the 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet, it reminded me of the crispness of the El Desafio de Jonata Cabernet, from Santa Ynez Valley, California. With Silver Oak wines I recommend a crispy duck with a blackberry gastrique, roasted pearl onions, over a bed of Greek couscous, or a pan-seared Florida grouper with French brie grits smothered in a tomato-bacon gravy.

The tasting notes for the Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet
Silver Oak Wines / Alexander Valley CabTasting Notes

Wine and Grape:
Nose (Bouquet):
Palate Experience:
2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker Notes:  
A-complex wine with berry and floral aromatics It has a dark, ruby color and a vibrant nose of black cherry, wisteria, and sweet baking spices. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker Notes:
On the palate, the wine is elegant and expressive and Echoes the berry, floral and spice notes from the nose. It has a classic structure of fine-grained tannins and a long, layered finish. Given proper cellaring, this wine should give drinking pleasure through 2032.
2008 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker Notes:  
The wine has a dark garnet color and is bursting with fruit even as it is poured. It has a nose of cassis, violets, licorice, allspice and roasting coffee. 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot

Winemaker Notes:
An extraordinarily rich attack, a satin texture and an exuberant expression of fruit on the mid-palate that comes from picking grapes at the peak of their ripeness. The wine finishes with notions of savory umami and fruit with a medium tannic grip. Given proper cellaring, this wine should give drinking pleasure through 2032.

Final notes, review basics, and observations:


Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsible, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience to the best of the writer's knowledge, even if it includes metaphors the restaurant may not like to read about.
To see more details of this rating list, read this article:

I refer to myself as an oenophile though, oenophilia is defined as “a disciplined devotion to wine, accompanying strict traditions of consumption and appreciation.” In a general sense, oenophilia also refers to the enjoyment of wine, often by a layman — which I am, and not qualified as a professional. I just enjoy drinking it, so my rating is based on enjoyment and the overall experience, not the science of an expert, and thus subjective, not objective. See the score factors outlined in the ‘about page’ on how I arrived at the rating percentage below:

Overall Star Rating For WINERY NAME:
An Outstanding Tasting Experience
Robert Parker The Wine Advocate
Wines Produced:
Red: Meritage, Cabernet Sauvignon
Grape Blends:
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, & Cabernet Franc
Barrel Type and Aging:
New American oak for 24 months in barrel, then 15-20 months in the bottles

Wine regulatory’s for the tastings in this article:

“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is the strength, in the water there are bacteria.” - David Auerbach

United States: 

Sub-Sonoma AVA’s:

Other Oakville wines, wineries (Château’s), or food articles on Wine Dine and Play:
Bridesmaid Wine Tasting Impressive Bordeaux-style blends in Oakville, California
Flying Horse Wine Tasting A spirited winery with Arabian horses in Oakville, California
Ghost Block Vineyard Cult Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc organic wine producer in Oakville, California
Hoopes Winery Cult cabernet winemaker with Liparita and Hoopes labels in Oakville, California
Napa Wine Company A wine Bar representing cult Napa Classics in Oakville, California
Oakville Winery Tasting A single family vineyard since 1903 in Oakville, California
Switzer Family Wines A Cult cabernet producer and famed football coach in Oakville, California

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary

A Few New World Favorites:
New World wines are those wines produced outside the traditional wine-growing areas of Europe and the Middle East, in particular from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, United States (California, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington State + others), and Uruguay.

A Taste of Willamette Damn It! A taste of food and wine from a 2015 tour in Oregon wine
Bergström Wines Kings of Pinot in Newburg, Willamette Valley, Oregon 
Biltmore Estate Local and California grapes produced in Asheville, North Carolina
Cape Chamonix WineryA beautiful Troika blend and others, in Franschhoek, South Africa 
Constantia Glen Bespoke wines and panoramic views in Constantia, South Africa
Dominque Portet WineryA Taste of André in Coldstream, Yarra Valley, Australia
Eagles Nest Exceptional Shiraz and eagle sanctuary in Constantia, South Africa
FOCUS Wines A blend of Napa/Sonoma with a percentage donated to a children's foundation. Cape May, New Jersey
Pillitteri Winery Noted ice-wines in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
Sticks Wines In Yarra Glen now named Greenstone Vineyards, Yarra Valley, Australia
Sula Vineyards An Indian Sauvignon blanc tasting from Nashik, Maharashtra, India

Some Old World Favorites:
Old World wine refers primarily to wine made in Europe but can also include other regions of the Mediterranean basin with long histories of winemaking such as North Africa and the Near East. These countries include Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, England, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey.

Bordeaux - A Sip and Taste Wine tours and restaurants in Bordeaux, France
Cave Dubai A French-style wine bar at the Conrad Hotel, Downtown Dubai, UAE
Château Lachesnaye Lanessan’s baby brother with a castle in Haut-Médoc AOC, Bordeaux, France
Clos du Marquis A Saint-Julien AOC red blend by Domaines Delon, Bordeaux, France
Domaine Bertagna 1er Cru Pinot in the Vougeot AOC, Burgundy, France
Domaine Hubart Brouchard Wines Sancerre wines in the Loire Valley, France
Domaine William Fevre A Grand Cru producer in the Burgundy-Chablis region, France
Jordan River Wines The Haddad Family Vineyards, and a 2000 year history of wine, Amman, Jordan
The Bourgogne Tasting A tasting of the Vougeot AOC, caves, and the Hospices de Beaune tour

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country


Bottle Prices 
(excluding taxes)
$£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
$£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricey)
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 (expensive)
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 (very expensive)
**Currencies reflect the world’s major wine countries and connoisseur’s** 

Currency rates in the top wine producing & wine purchasing countries:
Price Chart :
2009 Alexander Valley(750 ml)

United States Dollar (USD)
Australian Dollar (AUS)
Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
Canadian Dollar (CAN)
Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
European Union (EUR)
New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
South African Rand (ZAR) 
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (750 ml)

United States Dollar (USD)
Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
European Union (EUR)

Cost of wine tasting (p/p):
Signature Flight: $20.00

Silver Oak:

915 Oakville Crossroad
Oakville, California

Tasting Room Information:

Tasting room:
+01 707 938 7292

Website contact:

Tasting Room hours:

Pacific Standard Time (GMT, Zulu, or UTC-8:00)
Monday - Saturday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Social Media 
Accolades for Silver Oak:

Silver Oak Facebook Link                

The worlds best restaurants is a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.

A few to tease you with…
High End Japanese Steakhouse
San Francisco, California, USA
Prohibition-themed New American cuisine Restaurant - password required
Tampa, Florida, USA
Bistro w/Southern & Lowcountry cuisine
Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Other Silver Oak Pictures:

The tasting room at Silver Oak Winery in Oakville, California
Silver Oak Wines / The Tasting Room

The cowboy statue on the property of Silver Oak Wines in Oakville, California
Silver Oak Wines / The Cowboy

“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is the strength, in the water there are bacteria.” 
- David Auerbach

Who is John Galt?


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