2021 Cabernet Sauvignon
Despite a crop size smaller than normal, the 2021 vintage is noteworthy for its excellent quality. Mother Nature allowed us to craft a blend for Premiere Napa Valley that happened to hark on the Silver Oak heritage of Cabernet Sauvignon. Small berries yielded complex and dense wines with excellent concentration of flavors. This wine has a savory aromatic profile comprised of carnation, licorice and blackberry bramble. Extended aging in American oak adds notes of baking spice and vanilla, while the supporting role of Merlot adds a plush texture across the mid-palate. Refreshing and approachable, your wine has a long finish and will continue to improve through 2050.
Winemaker, Silver Oak
Laura has worked at Silver Oak Napa Valley since 2009, and over the last decade, she has played a critical role in improving analytical protocols, creating quality control methodologies and streamlining operations. No detail escapes Laura’s attention, from crush to bottling, and even how our wines are shipped around the world to arrive in perfect condition.
Originally from Connecticut, Laura performed her undergraduate studies at Simmons College in Boston where she earned degrees in Biology and Chemistry and developed a scientific focus on microbiology, culminating in her thesis on cross contamination in conjunction with Proctor & Gamble.
Laura thought her focus on microbiology would lead her to a career in medicine, but her life would soon take a different path. While continuing her medical education in Denmark, Laura fell in love with “the warmth and bonding that happened at home and the dinner table over a bottle of wine.” Immediately upon her return, Laura enrolled in the Enology and Viticulture program at the University of California at Davis, and the rest is history.
Outside of harvest, Laura considers December through February to be her most critical time of the year. It is during this time, with Silver Oak VP of Winegrowing Nate Weis, the team crafts the Silver Oak Napa Valley blend. Silver Oak wines are blended before barreling, and as many as 180 permutations of the blend are evaluated before settling on the final decision.
While winemaking is cyclical, it is the diversity and creative space that Laura cites as her favorite reasons for working at Silver Oak. “Winemaking isn’t a one person show,” says Laura. “And the team you’re surrounded by matters as much as the grapes—the variety of experiences, ideas and diverse backgrounds—is what helps us push our craft to the fullest extent.”
Laura resides in the Napa Valley with her husband Phil and their two young daughters.
Country born: United States
Years in the wine industry: 15-20 years
“Winemaking isn’t a one person show,” says Laura. “And it’s the people who matter as much as the grapes—the variety of experiences, ideas and diverse backgrounds—is what helps us push our craft to the fullest extent.”
Winemaker, Silver Oak
Although he toyed with the idea of becoming a pilot or possibly a
firefighter, Nate Weis' decision to pursue winemaking seemed almost inevitable. A Napa Valley native whose father is also a winemaker, Nate grew up with wine on the table and a drawer full of t-shirts emblazoned with winery logos. His first job after graduating with honors from UC Santa Barbara with a BS in
Biopsychology/Neuroscience was as a "cellar rat" at Groth Vineyards & Winery. "My dad suggested I make sure I actually liked winemaking before heading down that career path. I loved that first harvest, so I packed my bags, dropped my application for UC Davis grad school in the mail and went off to Hawke's Bay, New Zealand."
Nate spent the 2003 harvest at two New Zealand wineries- Craggy Range Winery and Sacred Hill Wines- and when he returned home he worked a harvest for Etude Wines before starting grad school. After earning his MS in Viticulture and Enology, he was hired as cellar master at Etude, and then spent two years as assistant winemaker for Patz & Hall Wine Company. In 2008 Nate was hired by Marchese Piero Antinori to be winemaker for Antica Napa Valley, where he made Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot. He also served as winemaker for Aril Wines in Napa, a small ultra-premium producer of Cabernet and Syrah.
Nate, who joined Silver Oak in 2014, has a long list of things he likes about winemaking: "I love the uniform- jeans and boots. I love the physical nature of the work, coming home covered in muck and tired out from working hard. I love the setting and getting to play with heavy equipment; one of my best memories is a harvest spent on a tractor spreading out pomace in the vineyard and watching the sunset. And I've grown to love the plant biology part of it- figuring out how to get the vine to do what we want it to do. It's like unraveling a mystery. And of course I love the end product. I often see people when they're happiest- at a great meal with a glass of Silver Oak in their hand."
Under Director of Winemaking Daniel Baron, Nate is responsible for managing Napa Valley and Alexander Valley wine production from grape to bottle and also serving as an ambassador for the brand. Having grown up in Napa Valley where Cabernet is king, Nate is happy to be working exclusively with the varietal he most often pulls out when he wants to really savor a meal or an evening. He is also honored to work with Daniel, who he admires as an intelligent, articulate and excellent leader with an active mind and wise persona.
"Daniel has been a great steward of Silver Oak, much like Justin Meyer before him. I hope to continue this tradition, while also putting my stamp on the winery to some extent," reflects Nate. "At Silver Oak we all think that wine tends to reflect the people and personalities behind it, even in the smallest of ways. I'm excited to find out what part of me the wines of Silver Oak will ultimately reflect while also maintaining the rigorously high quality standards established here over the last 42 years."
Country born: USA
Education: Nate Weis graduated with honors from UC Santa Barbara with a BS in Biopsychology/Neuroscience. He then continued his education At UC Davis where he earned his MS in Viticulture and Enology.
Years in the wine industry: 15-20 years
"I love the physical nature of the work, coming home covered in
muck and tired out from working hard. I love the setting and getting to play with heavy equipment; one of my best memories is a harvest spent on a tractor spreading out pomace in the vineyard and watching the sunset. And I've grown to love the plant biology part of it- figuring out how to get the vine to do what we want it to do. It's like unraveling a mystery. And of course I love the end product."
6600 Rockledge Drive
Bethesda MD 20817