The 2018 Alexander Valley Cabernet is composed of 95.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.6% Merlot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc, 0.3% Petit Verdot and 0.1% Malbec. The final blend was aged for 24 months in American oak barrels from our cooperage, The Oak. Blending before barrel aging-a signature of the Silver Oak winemaking style-allows blends to be based on the inherent qualities of their vineyard components before oak influence.
This 2018 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is ruby in color with a purple rim. Warm and inviting, it has notes of red currant, cassis, ripe plum, cardamom and toffee. There's depth and weight on the palate-a harmonious intensity. This wine has a long and beautiful finish, and its fine tannins will provide drinking pleasure through 2043 with proper cellaring.
Mother Nature made a memorable impression on the 2018 vintage. In January, Silver Oak welcomed epic winter rains that brought an end to the enduring five-year drought. After an average bud break, prolific shoot and vegetation growth early in the season required close observation and much weed control and leafing to open the dense canopies. Bloom proceeded at a steady pace and set up for a healthy crop size. In June and July, three extended heat events tested the vineyard team and culminated with high temperatures around Labor Day. While the hot weather kick-started harvest on September 4, irrigation management and cooler, foggy mornings allowed the vines to recover and resume their trajectory towards full aromatic and physiological ripeness. Silver Oak was happy to see sugars and acids at normal levels. The pace of harvest was steady, and finished picking before the wildfires started on the night of October 8. While 2018 certainly presented its share of challenges, it was also the jubilant, inaugural vintage for our state-of-the art facility.