2009 Mountain Grown Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Silverwood Vineyards
California: Sonoma County: Alexander Valley
What we say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s wine was awarded a Gold Medal from the prestigious Sonoma County Harvest Fair. Before we learned of this, we issued this special alert. The wine is, quite simply, that good! congratulations to Miro, for the double award.
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Mission Codename: All that glitters is Silverwood
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Revisit our friend Miro Tcholakov (aka Agent KGB) and retrieve his 2009 Silverwood Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, a delicious, rich and ready to drink gem of a wine.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Miro Cellars
Wine Subject: 2009 Silverwood Vineyard Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Miro Tcholakov
Alexander Valley in northeast Sonoma County is located on the western side of the Mayacamas range and extends westward to the edge of the Russian River Valley. This appellation was formerly considered a part of Dry Creek Valley but became its own appellation in November 1984. The region is best known for exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot but recently people are starting to discover its Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Chardonnay as well.
Today’s wine was grown at the Silverwood Vineyard, a 2200ft mountain top climat on Pine Mountain, high above the Russian River and Alexander Valleys.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep burgundy hues, with glints of shimmering crimson at the edge of the wine. After swirling, the wine leaves behind tall columns of slow-moving, skinny, wine-stained tears.
Smell – A bold rush of dark mixed berries greets the nose. Ripe blackberry, blueberry and black cherry take the lead. Behind these, additional aromas of plum preserve, clove, cedar and subtle oak follow. After a while in the glass, dark chocolate, subtle herbs and and a hint of espresso join in.
Feel – Cool and light-weight, on the entry. Then, the wine quickly settles in as it introduces chewy tannins. After a few moments, a subtly mineral-laden dryness spreads to the corners of the palate.
Taste – Dark and fruit-forward, with a hint of smoky character. Blackberry, black cherry, black plum and darkly roasted espresso take the lead, here. The wine settles onto the palate, and reveals soft oak, subtle dried herbs, dried violet petals and hints of clove and black pepper.
Finish – Dark fruit lingers for a long time as chewy tannins and a spreading dryness cause the mouth to water. After the fruit dwindles, dried violets and slate remain for a while.
Conclusion – We always love Miro’s wines. Still, given the youth of today’s wine, we were taken by surprise. This delicious 2009 Silverado Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from high atop the Alexander Valley, is drinking beautifully. We are certain that it will continue to progress, so please be certain to cellar a few bottles. Hopefully you saved a couple of the 2008s that we featured, last year, and can do a vertical tasting in a couple of years. Pair this big, flavorful wine with a beef stew or a nice herb-roasted chicken.
MIRO INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Miro Tcholakov
DATE OF BIRTH: February 4, 1966
PLACE OF BIRTH: Trojan, Bulgaria
WINE EDUCATION: Higher Institute of Agriculture, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, UC Davis, SRJC
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Dry Creek Vineyards-1990-1999 as Assistant Winemaker/Cellar Master, Trentadue Winery-1999-present-Winemaker/VP of Production, Miro Cellars-2001-present. Also consulted and continue to consult for a few other small projects domestically and abroad. Currently serving on the Board of Directors for ZAP and “PS I Love you” organizations
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: “Freedom of Expression”- meaning for Miro wines I source only vineyards that are interesting to me in regard of geology, soil types, location, grape growing styles, grape grower…etc. Not being confined to an “Estate” vineyard gives me the freedom of choice. If the vineyard does not deliver I move on. Great wines can be made without blue blooded heritage and a Chateau in the foreground.
SIGNATURE VARIETAL: So far I made my mark with Petite sirah for the Miro brand, with my other jobs I have done very well with other varieties and blends. In general I’m very fond of perhaps the only two varieties that California has claim to fame as truly “heritage” –Petite Sirah and Zinfandel. But, I am so pleased with my inaugural Pinot Noir! It turned out beautifully.
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Well I’m not sure what do you consider Highlight but if you mean wine scores I have a few 90 points and above from Wine Enthusiast, Parker, Wine Spectator, Connoisseur Guide, California Grapevine, top picks in New York Times, USA Today, and hundreds of Gold medals and Best of Class and a few Sweepstakes from wine competitions that matter.
I have met and tasted my wines one on one with Michelle Rolland (without paying for it) if that is considered an event but I found that to be very interesting. I have been on the pages of few wine publications. Once Dan Burger put me on the top 20 winemakers in the country…
There is probably more that I don’t remember…
MIRO QUOTE: Just drink it-it is only wine!
AGENT RED: Greetings, Miro. We are thrilled to be showing your 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
MIRO TCHOLAKOV: A pleasure!
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
MIRO: I don’t think that there was any specific event-wine has always been part of our life back in Bulgaria. We made every year about 1000 liters and manage to drink most of it before the next harvest. Wine has always been part of the life circle, just like making cheese or jam or tomato sauces. We also made grappa every year. My grandfather Mariano was the initial inspiration and the first hand source of winemaking knowledge.
RED: And where did you learn the most about winemaking?
MIRO: The real winemaking I learned during my first years at Dry Creek. I’m not done with the learning by any means yet. Back in Bulgaria we made the wine in the most pure way possible. We rarely used even sulfur! No additives and none of the modern gadgets-just grapes and barrels.
RED: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?
MIRO: Don’t play with the wine just because you know how. Only intervene when you absolutely have to and you are sure of the outcome. Always pay attention to the details all the time. Everything you do to the wine-matters!
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
MIRO: Well I don’t think there is just one person-it is more of a collective of people and styles. I do not believe that I have a particular style per say-I just try to get out of the grapes the most from every vintage-and that would be different every year.
RED: How long have you been making wine?
MIRO: Legally? Commercially –this harvest was my number 20!
RED: Who do you make wine for?
MIRO: I guess I can say that first I want to be satisfied with the wines I make and of course it will be great if a lot of people including media like them as well. Otherwise I’ll have a lot of wine to drink by myself…
RED: Tell me, what makes the Alexander Valley so special?
MIRO: The temperature inversions during the growing season and the relatively poor soils consisting of mostly decomposed rocks and abundant sunshine make some very special and distinctive wines
RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?
MIRO: You have to love the job. If you are in it just 8 to 5 don’t even think about it. If the love and passion are not there you will be just a booze maker. Also you have to be willing to sacrifice a lot of time and long days and hours away from the family.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
MIRO: The 2011 harvest is about to begin finally! We just got in the first load of Zinfandel today.
RED: Wow! Congratulations! Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today
MIRO: The 2009 Miro Cabernet is from Silverwood Vineyard located nearly at the top of Pine Mountain-soon to be the newest sub appellation in Sonoma County. The vineyard is planted at 2400 feet elevation well above the fog of the Alexander Valley and the Russian River below. The long sunny days and relatively warmer nights produce age worthy wines with distinctive exotic wild berry aromas and massive but soft tannins.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
MIRO: I love this wine with skirt steak and wild mushroom and brown rice risotto.
RED: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know.
MIRO: I wanted to be a MD back in Bulgaria but my girlfriend talked me out of it.
RED: Thank goodness for us fans of your wines! What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?
MIRO: Rhone wines for sure. I even make one for a winemaker called Cuvee Sasha a GSM-simply delicious without all the pretense.
RED: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
MIRO: Think of them as $100 bottle of wines and you will not be disappointed. I hate the cliché but they are “affordable luxury”.
RED: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
MIRO: I would like to try again the 1927 Château D’yquem.
RED: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
MIRO: Have I been connected to KGB? The answer is –perhaps!
RED: Our intel reports were correct, then! Thank you so much for your time, Miro. We learned a lot about you – and about your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
MIRO: Thank you! Wine Spies days are always very exciting around here. Your customers are well-informed – and they know good wine.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Miro Cellars can be seen in this satellite photo.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the approximate location of Miro Cellars can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
Awards & Accolades:
About This Wine:
This relatively young vineyard is planted nearly at the top of Pine Mountain at 2200 feet elevation above the valley of the Russian River. The moderate temperature inversion at that altitude supports softer, richer tannins in the wine, concentrated wild berry aromas and enhanced varietal specific flavors of dark fruit, slight earthiness and subtle spices. 371 cases made.
About The Winery:
MIRO Cellars searches the region for the finest grapes from a variety of vineyards to make their one-of-a-kind specialty wines. Award winning winemaker Miro Tcholakov considers the particular geology and seasonal climate variations of each vineyard when selecting the most interesting grapes the region has to offer. Because Miro has complete freedom to make precisely the wines he loves best, the results are a spectacular leap above the expected.
Let yourself in on one of the best kept secrets in wine today—MIRO.
Appellation: Alexander Valley
Production: 371 cases