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2001 Silverado Vineyards Cabernet, Napa Valley

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.

Tasting Notes:
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.

Food Pairing:
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.

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