HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >


Silver Oak in Alexander Valley

  • l
  • 9

we were going to try silver oak in alexander valley--is it not worth it? what didn;t you like? (not hummer drviers, either, by a long shot!)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I know this is not why you are going but the woodwork is beautiful.

    1. I actually think the Alexander Silver Oak has been the better of the two wines in recent years. It's also about $40 less than the Napa.

      1. oh all the wineries ive been to in the area I really felt that silveroak was the most pretentious. personally i think their wines are pretty overpriced and you can get just as good if not better for a lot better value.

        1. What exactly do they give you for your $10 tasting fee?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            I used to be able to see the winery out my kitchen window...(sigh!)

            We got a nice wine glass for the $10.

            But I'd agree that the wine seems waaay overpriced, and there's lot's of very good alternative wineries nearby.

          2. It is one of my favorite wineries - and well worth the visit -

            1. If you like American Oak, you might like their wine. It's their schtick--use much cheaper barrels and pass it off as a feature. Having grown up in a cab producing family that only uses burgundian French oak, I don't like the tannin structure in American oak, and if I have to drink it I expect the price of a bottle to reflect the savings they get from using cheaper barrels.

              1 Reply
              1. re: SteveG

                Aw c'mon, when have wine prices ever been related to the cost of production? (ggg)

              2. Regarding the tasting fee, you get an embossed cabernet glass to take home. That's already well worth the price. And an even bigger bonus is that if you ask nicely, they will give you a second pour (one of these days, I'll get to SO first when I'm on a winetasting excursion, and try to go for 3rds....=-)

                As for the wine itself, SO is one of the most consistent cabernet producers for decades. I liken their wines to a 2nd growth Bordeaux. Not flashy or showy, but solid in structure and depth that is perfect for cellaring for long, long periods of time.

                My personal philosophy is that I don't open any bottle of SO out of my cellar that isn't at least 10 years old. I've been out with clients that have wanted to drink much more recent vintages, and they do not excite my palate. For example, I recently had a bottle of the 2001 Alexander Valley, and it was pleasant but nowhere near its prime IMO.