Silver Oak wine comes from Californian wine producers that are best known for the wines that are produced from Cabernet Sauvignon. The Silver Oak Cellars was founded in 1972 with a focus on this specific grape variety by winemaker Justin Meyer and entrepreneur Raymond Twomey Duncan. They went onto make 2 key wines, with one in Napa Valley and the other in the Sonoma AVA of Alexander Valley.
The Silver Oak wine varieties are both prized due to their combinations of richness as well as their abilities to age. The wine varietal from Alexander Valley includes a mixture of 1-year old and new American oak, while the sibling has been labeled Napa Valley. Dependent on the actual vintage at the time, Merlot along with Pettit Verdot and Cabernet Franc in small amounts might contribute 10 to 15% to the blend.
The Silver Oak wine is typically weightier when compared to the Alexander Valley wine, which is aged in 100% new American oak and is also associated with a price tag that is higher.
Each of these wines has its own winery, one at Oakville and the other in Alexander Valley. Silver Oaks Cellars owns 3 vineyards in each of these appellations along with a variety of different terroirs, while some of the grapes are also purchased from some of the partner growers. Silver Oak is also the owner of a cooperage. All the wines undergo initial blending, which is based on the actual vineyard source, into dedicated lots, which are each separately aged for one year before they are re-tasted.
It is from here that 2 final blends will be made. In total, the wines sit for about 24-months in the barrels before they are bottled, and then stored in the winery for at least 18 months which allows for the recovery from what is known as bottle shock as well as increasing the drinkability of these wines on release.
About The Founders
Raymond Twomey Duncan, an entrepreneur from Colorado who started investing in the California vineyards in the later part of the 1960s, along with Justin Meyer a former Christian Brother, and winemaker started in a dairy barn in Napa Valley in 1972, where they produced only 1,100 cases of what was then their Inaugural Vintage.
In the next 2 decades to follow, Silver Oak started to increase in popularity. Their Alexander Valley and Napa Valley Cabernets sold quickly as they were released and soon became one of the sought-after staples on wine lists in restaurants across the country. After choosing Daniel Baron as his successor in 1994, Justin retired and sold his shares in Silver Oak to the Duncan family in the year 2001.
With Tim Duncan as the Executive Vice President and David R. Duncan as the President, the Duncan family has continued to operate this winery.
In the year 2006, a breakout of fire destroyed the historic Oakville winery. It was an emotional and difficult event, yet in hindsight, it was actually a blessing. When they regrouped after the fire, it was not very long before excitement took over about ideas for a state-of-the-art, new winery which overcame their feelings of loss.