The new 2010 vintage Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was released ( $99.95), at winery headquarters in Oakville, Napa Valley. Photos courtesy Silver Oak
Taste of Wine

Silver Oak parties on with their latest vintage cabernet

A movie premier would pale in comparison. A presidential inauguration would need more star-power to match up.  New Years Eve at the Ritz might not attract enough thirsty wine drinkers as the annual coming-out event for the latest vintage Silver Oak Napa Valley Release Day.  The latest was orchestrated by owner David Duncan last month at the Silver Oak headquarters in Oakville. “Life is a Cabernet” is the strike-it-rich Silver Oak marketing phrase for the Duncan family, the standard bearer for Napa Valley cabernet for some 45 years.  In front of the winery and tasting room is the iconic water tower, which is also in front on every wine label. Margarite Triemstra, president of San Diego Women On Wine, is a long-time wine club member and customer who rarely misses Silver Oak Release Day.  I asked her what it is that draws her to this event each year.  “Release Day sizzles,” she enthused.  “They have had them for two decades.  It’s a great event with many celebrity guests.  They never run out of wines.  The gourmet food and music is great.  The latest vintage 2010 is already 5 years old so you can drink it now…no need to wait.  For sure I’ll be pouring it at my next dinner party”

The 2010 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet has just been released. Blending was finished in 2011, then aged two years in oak barrels and two years in bottles.
The 2010 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet has just been released. Blending was finished in 2011, then aged two years in oak barrels and two years in bottles.

Actually the new release 2010 cabernet is blended to a small but effective degree, with 84 percent cab, 13 percent merlot, 2 percent petite verdot and 1percent cabernet franc from carefully selected vineyards throughout the appellation.  This was done in 2011 allowing the winery to achieve a balance of the natural elements of the fruit and tannins, before being influenced by the oak barrel storage.

A lot of the accolades for Silver Oak have to go to only three winemakers in the 45-year history of the winery:  now retired Justin Meyer, wine director Daniel Baron and current winemaker Nate Weis.  A division of Silver Oak that is of similar quality, yet at a value price, is Twomey cellars, founded in 1999. San Diegans will get a chance to thoroughly enjoy both Silver Oak and Twomey wines with the five-course cuisine of Solare Italian Restaurant in the Pt. Loma district, Wednesday April 1 starting at 6:45 p.m., with a reception at 6:15 p.m. The new Silver Oak 2010 will be paired along with two other Silver Oak wines and two Twomey wines.  Solare Chef Accursio promises a dinner that will be unforgettable at  $118 per person. RSVP at (619) 270-9670. If you’re unsure about how the economy is going, check out the strength of high-end wine consumption, like Silver Oak. In a recent CNBC interview with Dave Duncan, Duncan said that “2014 holiday wine sales were up 16 percent over the previous year’s record sales. Lots of folks are celebrating the good times with a bottle of cabernet.” Visit Silver Oak at

Wine Bytes

  • The 5th annual food & wine festival palm desert  happens Fri. March 27 through Sun. March 29. Grand tasting tents and educational seminars all days. Top culinary experts and winemakers.  Full schedule and pricing details at

  • Il Fornaio in Coronado is presenting a wine dinner with Ferrari Carano wines of Sonoma, Thurs. March 26.  To RSVP, call 619-437-4911.

  • San Diego Wine Company has a Taste of Spain, Sat. March 28 from 11 to 4pm. The cost is $10.00.  Call 858-586-WINE.

  • Salerno Winery in Ramona is planning a Wine & Canvas event Sat. March 28 from 10am to 1pm.  Cost is $35.and includes making art, entertainment, wine & food. Call 619-207-9431 for details.

  • Meet the Winemaker Weekend in Ramona is Sat. March 28 & Sun. March 29, both days from 10 to 4pm at 10 participating wineries.  No charge for the program…wine tasting at individual winery pricing. Box lunches available.  Call 760-787-1102.

Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator.  He is one of the leading wine commentators on the web.  View and link up with his columns at  Reach him at and follow him on Facebook.