Silver Oak Cellars is a Californian wine producer known for its wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon. It was founded to focus on that grape variety in 1972 by entrepreneur Raymond Twomey Duncan and winemaker Justin Meyer, and makes two key wines – one in the Sonoma AVA of Alexander Valley, and the other in Napa Valley.
Both wines are prized for their combination of richness and ability to age. The Alexander Valley wine is varietal, and sees a mix of new and one-year-old American oak. The sibling is labeled Napa Valley and, depending on the vintage, Merlot and small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot may contribute 10-15 percent of the blend. It is usually weightier than the Alexander Valley wine, aged in 100-percent new American oak, and has a higher price tag. Until the 1990s a Bonny's Vineyard cuvée was also made.
Each wine has its own dedicated winery, one in the Alexander Valley and one at Oakville. Silver Oak owns three vineyards in each appellation with a variety of terroirs, and grapes are also bought from partner growers. Silver Oak also owns its own cooperage. Wines undergo an initial blending – according to the vineyard source – into lots, which are then aged separately for a year before being re-tasted. After this the two final blends are made. In all, the wines see around 24 months in barrel before bottling, and are then held by the winery for 18 months to allow recovery from bottle shock and to increase drinkability on release.