Decanted at 5 PM and drunk over the next four hours. Lovely medium dark garnet color with little sign of age just a hint of brick on the edge. Nose is prototypical Silver Oak with lots of vanilla, licorice, dark black plum and a hint of tobacco. The palate reflects the nose with the dark fruit, licorice, vanilla and an element of earthiness and richness that seemed best as the last glass or two was drunk. Delicious both with grilled steak and without food as well.
Meh - another dried out wine. Not as bad as the Rivers Marie Pinot earlier, but still not great. Too bad since I've had more than half a dozen excellent bottles of this wine. The nose is a little raisiny, but still has some beautiful and creamy Silver Oak fruit, with nice spice and a little vanilla from the oak. The palate is similar, it's deep, with dark fruit and spices, leather, but again the dried out nature shows. Maybe it's another bad bottle or maybe it is on the way down, not sure. Nose - 4.5/6, Palate - 4.5/6, Finish - 4/6, Je ne Sais Quoi - 1/2 = 14/20.
1976 - The Paris Challenge Revisited (Bravin - Sao Paulo - Brazil): Perfect cork, probably reconditioned or recently released by the winery. Very alive, with some fruit and lots of mushrooms and leather. Silky and light bodied, some wood and dryness at the finish. Very good wine, surprisingly strong showing, but the Las Cases was a few steps above.
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(Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley) Bricked medium dark red violet color; appealing, redolent, maturing, ripe cassis, baked cherry, raspberry, cedar, plum sauce nose; tasty, maturing but with signs of youth yet, tart cassis, tart currant, tart cherry, cedar palate; medium-plus finish (12% alcohol)