The 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa (89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Cabernet Franc) reveals toasty sweet oak in the nose, bombastic levels of black currant fruit and spice along with a hint of mint in the background. Supple and full-bodied, with delirious levels of cedar and unctuously-textured fruit, this fleshy, gorgeously made Cabernet Sauvignon should drink well for 14-15 years. The Napa offerings from Silver Oak tend to be less herbaceous and more oriented toward Cabernet Sauvignon's black fruit spectrum than the Alexander Valley cuvees. They are every bit as exotic and ostentatious as the Alexander Valley cuvees, but more classic, tannic, perhaps longer-lived, and slightly less approachable. Silver Oak wines are supple, explosively fruity, and deliver copious quantities of glycerin, extract, and richness wrapped in generous quantities of American oak. Critics have argued that the wine does not age particularly well, but that has largely been proven a myth. I doubt it will last as long as Chateau Montelena, Dunn, or other Napa Cabernets with a 30-40 year aging potential, but these wines have a broad window of drinkability, being delicious at release, and able to sustain their fruit and character for 15 or more years. (RP)
Dark, plush and concentrated, with a decided coconut and oak accent mixed with complex plum and berry flavors. Finishes with a rich, focused, generous aftertaste, with fine length. Deftly balanced. (JL)
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