I'm usually suspicious of wineries that have massive, Tuscan inspired architectural tasting rooms perched on the brink of prime real estate in the valley. Silverado Vineyards is certainly one of those, occupying one of the most picturesque spots along the east side of the valley off of the Silverado trail. I've driven by many times and thought, "wow, if they're spending all that money and attention on their grounds, how much are they really paying attention to the wine?" Well, I'm not going to say that they're creating cult quality wines, but I have to admit that they make a competent, if not very good, Claret-style Cabernet.
Brilliant dark red in the glass, the wine has a penetrating nose of dark black plum and cherry with a hint of woodsmoke, as if you were gazing into a deep dark well of fruit where someone has just extinguished a burning branch of willow. The mouthfeel is smooth and clean with lucious blueberry and black cherry flavors tinged with dark chocolate notes. The wine was not the intense dark sumptiousness that marks the best Napa cabs, but it was not trying to be. Overall an excellent effort, especially for the price.
I had mine with a roast duck in mandarin-rasberry sauce with steamed baby bok choy and stir fried rice noodles in sesame oil. This wine would go well with other roasted poultry, especially if you're like me and tend to drink reds with dishes that traditionally call for lighter, if not white, wines. Of course, a nice filet mignon would do perfectly well.
Overall Score: 8
How Much?: approx $35
The wine is not yet available for sale in the vineyard's online shop but doubtless will be soon.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Warm Up: The North Fork of Long Island I'll Drink to That: Kareem Massoud of Paumanok Vineyards 2015 Family Winemakers Tasting: August 16, San Francisco I'll Drink to That: Ryan Looper of T. Edward Wines Lost Treasures in the Sierra Foothills: The Wines of Renaissance Vineyards Warm Up: The Wachau I'll Drink to That: Leo Alzinger of Weingut Alzinger Petaluma Gap Wine Tasting: August 8th, Petaluma, CA I'll Drink to That: Monica Samuels of Vine Connections Vinography Images: Cool Climate Chardonnay
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune