Saturday, June 8, 2013

Silver Oak Alexander Valley Vertical Complements Grilled Beef Kabobs

Silver Oak Alexander Valley Vertical Complements Grilled Beef Kabobs

For a strip steak beef kabob dinner we selected a vertical of three vintages of Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for pleasant easy drinking matched to the grilled strip steak with grilled red pepper, onions, fresh mushrooms and pineapple fruit. Bill C brought a 2005, Bob L had a 2008 in our cellar, actually left over from this year's OTBN, and I pulled a 2004 from the cellar to create this vertical comparison tasting - an interesting contrast in vintage variations, and perhaps perspective on Silver Oak at five years old versus nine. None seemed to be punctuated by that spicy oak layer that is the trademark signature of the label.

Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

The lightest, smoothest and perhaps most polished of the three vintages. Medium bodied, with a layer of mocha and slightly sweet currant and ripe plum and berry flavors with hints of vanilla on a silky smooth tannin finish.

RM 90 points.

Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

This was the biggest and most complex of the three vintages. Here are Bill's note from Cellartracker: 

"Deep indigo in color. Deep floral notes on the nose. Mocha, clove, pepper and allspice on the palate. Well balanced, with plenty of backbone and tannin with a rather sweet finish with vanilla overtones. Drank as part of a Silver Oak Alexander Valley vertical consisting of 2004, 2005 and 2008. IMO, the '04 was the most elegant of the 3. The '05 was a bit bigger and more structured. The'08 was a different, more fruit forward profile upon opening. However, after 3 hours, the '08 opened nicely, reflecting the traditional Silver Oak characteristics."

WCC 91 points.

Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Perhaps reflecting its youth, the '08 opened a bit awkward, slightly hot with some black cherry tartness edge, but over the course of the evening it evolved to be more similar to the '05, medium to full bodied, nicely polished, moderately complex, dark, black berry and black currant fruits, hints of clove spice and touch of pepper with moderate firm smooth tannins on the finish.

RM 89 points.

Domaine de Roally Tradition Viré-Clessé Burgundy 2007

With shrimp cocktail and artisan cheese starter course we served a Burgundian Chardonnay from Domaine de Roally Viré-Clessé Tradition 2007. Straw colored, medium bodied, citrus predominates over hints of floral, stone and mineral notes, clean acidity with a an almost slightly tart note on the crisp lingering finish.

RM 87 points.

Rosemount Estate McLaren Vale Balmoral Syrah 1997

For a starter transition red with hearty artisan cheeses we served up a Rosemount Estate Balmoral Syrah (Shiraz) 1997. We still hold several cases (six packs) of this wine from the nineties and early millennium across nine different vintages and its time to drink up as shown in this '97 which is showing its age as the fruit starts to diminish somewhat. Looking at Cellartracker tasting notes, one writer reports this vintage still holding on while another says his is over the hill. While past its prime, this was still very much still inside the drinking window.

Dark purple colour, full aroma of perfume and fruit - ripe concentrated plum and blackberry fruits with a touch of vanilla and sweet cherry - tightly wound with a tinge of tight tannins and acid on the long fruit-filled finish.

RM 88 points.