Big Bottle Birthyear wines for Wedding Celebration
For son Alec and wife Vivianna's (re) wedding celebration festivities, we hosted a welcome reception for out of town guests and celebrants. We hosted the evening reception at the Boathouse Restaurant at the Saugatuck Rowing Club in Westport, Conneticut, with an evening of small bites and light drinks.
Silver Oak Bonny's Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1990
Silver Oak has become a legendary cult brand, known for its focus and bold vision: focus on one varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon, aged exclusively in American oak and worthy of cellaring for decades to come.
Silver Oak Cellars was founded by Bonny and Justin Meyer, together with their financial partner, Ray Duncan in 1972. Founder Ray Twomey Duncan, a Colorado entrepreneur, began investing in California vineyards in the late 1960s. Justin Meyer was a Christian Brothers-trained winemaker. They co-founded Silver Oak out of a Napa Valley dairy barn in 1972, producing only 1,000 cases of their inaugural vintage.
Over the ensuing decades, Silver Oak gained immense popularity as their Napa Valley and Alexander Valley Cabernets sold quickly upon their release from the winery and became a highly sought-after staple on restaurant wine lists nationwide.
Justin continued as winemaker until selecting Daniel Baron to succeed him in 1994, when he then retired, selling his share of Silver Oak to the Duncan family in 2001. Ray’s sons, David and Tim Duncan, own and operate the winery to this day which consists of more than 400 acres of vines in Napa Valley and Alexander Valley.
told his wife in 1974 that he was ripping out the three acres of clover
in front of their Oakville home to plant a vineyard, Bonny Meyer
suggested that she’d like to make it her own personal project.
Silver Oak Bonny's Vineyard was planted by Silver Oak founders Bonny and Justin
Meyer in 1974 on a gravelly, four-acre plot in the Oakville district of
Napa Valley adjacent to the family home.
The Christmas before the first vintage wine was to be released, Meyer surprised his wife with a hand-carved wooden sign, proclaiming it from that point forward, that little patch of vineyard in their front yard would forever be known as Bonny’s Vineyard.
When Justin Meyer retired in 2000, he sold his share of Silver Oak to his longtime partner, Ray Duncan. While there were discussions of Meyer hanging on to a few of the vineyards, ultimately, all the vineyards were included in the deal, except for one, Bonny's, because it was simply the front yard of the family home.
It was a much-heralded bottling for Silver Oak over the course of the next two decades, then discontinued as a single vineyard designated label for a dozen years. The vineyard is now bottled under its own label by the Meyers.
Winemaker Notes: "The 1990 Napa Valley Bonny's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon has a dark ruby-red color. It has a nose of black cherries, red peppers and bay leaves. This wine has full body and a tart, long finish with a slight tannic grip."
This release was awarded 94 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.
Still showing well at 31 years, the fill level, label, foil and cork were near perfect. Of course storage in a six liter large format bottle ages better than a standard bottle.
Never-the-less, dark garnet colored, medium-full bodied, dense concentrated black berry and black currant fruits accented by graphite, cigar box, leather and notes of cassis and spicy oak on a long lingering finish.
RM 93 points.
Newton Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1990
The Newton Estate consists of a square mile of hillside that was acquired by Dr Su Hua and Peter Newton in 1977. The Newton Vineyards Spring Mountain property sits above the town of St Helena on the steep slopes of the Mayacamas Mountain range, which separates Napa Valley from Sonoma County. The site boasts expansive vistas of Napa Valley with steep sun drenched slopes by day and the cooling valley at night. The terraced mountain estate has less than one-fifth of its total 490 acres planted to vines at elevations ranging from 500 to 1,600 feet above sea level. The non-farmed acreage remains in its native forested state providing natural habitat for indigenous wildlife.
Newton Vineyard was one of the first wineries in the Spring Mountain AVA (American Viticultural Area) in Napa Valley. The Newton estate consists of 112 parcels or lots, all planted to specific varieties, including Bordeaux varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot, and Chardonnay, with an emphasis on Cabernet Sauvignon. All 112 parcels are vinified separately, so to provide the winemaking team plenty of options for crafting the final blend before bottling. In 1990, Newton was the first winery to produce and sell an unfiltered Chardonnayin the US, making it a pioneer in the Napa wine industry. While Chardonnay tends to be Newton's most well-known and popular wine, it also produces powerful red wines that have become renowned cross the world.
The winery was designed and built to blend into the mountain and includes elements of the founders’ native lands interwoven with the California environment — roses, a pagoda, a Japanese red gate, lanterns, a London phone booth and French gardens.
In addition to the estate property, Newton also has holdings in Yountville, Mount Veeder, and Carneros, which the company uses for blends.In 2001, part of Newton was sold to luxury group LVMH, and it continues to be one of the internationally known producers in Napa Valley. The founders previously founded Sterling Vineyards, also in Napa Valley, but sold it to Coca Cola in the 1970s.
I served from our cellar a six liter bottle of Newton Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from Alec's birthyear vintage, 1990, that we have been holding for more than a decade for such an occastion.
Newton Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1990
The wine lived up to loftiest expectations showing little or no sign of diminution from aging or from the dispacement of a small portion of the wine.
This vintage release was awarded 95 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.
The 1990 Cabernet Sauvignon was the first Newton Cabernet to
have an extended maceration of 25-35 days and to include an important
percentage of Cabernet Franc in the final blend.
Ruby colored, medium-full bodied, a firm dense core of firm blackcurrant and black cherry fruits was accented by notes of cigar box, black tea and cedar with hints of cassis and dark mocha chocolate with supple tannins on the lingering finish.
RM 91 points.
The Newton Website is currently offering the 1994 release of this label - 84 bottles are available to club members only on their website.