Long before the critter invasion from Australia, we here in the good ole U. S. of A. had our own wineries sporting all sorts of animals. Remembering a few from the past like Elk Cove and Tortoise Creek. A sparkling wine producer named Iron Horse. Heck, there's even a cult wine that sells for in excess of $3,000 a bottle named Screaming Eagle (no I haven't had that one, YET!).
One winery that's been around for some time sounds like it might come from the swamps, Frog's Leap. The winery I wish to talk about today, however, is Duckhorn Vineyards. Founded in 1976 by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn. So you see, this wasn't an attempt at critterdom.
There's been a lot of press recently about Duckhorn. The biggest news was their Three Palms Vineyard Merlot for 2014 getting the Top Honor in Wine Spectator's Top 100 for 2017. But I'm not here to talk about the Duckhorn line of wines. Interestingly, Duckhorn has a number of other vineyards with similarly interesting names; like Goldeneye, Migration, Decoy, Canvasback and the one I'm reviewing, Paraduxx (think a pair of ducks).
For 2013, this red blend is a combination of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 10% Zinfandel and 4% Petit Verdot. It spends about 18 months getting sufficiently oaked in 95% French Oak, of which, 50% is new oak. Click here for tech sheet.
So much for the technicals. How about the wine, you may ask. Yes, you may ask even though you know I'm going to tell you anyway.
If you read my last "Wine of the Week" about the Turley Juvenile Zinfandel, you may remember that I mentioned that while the wine is 100% Zin, it comes from a number of vineyards causing it to be, in my eyes, a "blend."
Paraduxx is truly a blend of blends, both in grape varietals and vineyards. While generally not available, Paraduxx does produce "Single Vineyard" wines as well.
Enough chitter chatter, or maybe critter chatter?
Knowing that most wines produced from grapes from the 2013 vintage were pretty special, I was anxious to try this one out. First off, I was a little surprised at the aroma. There wasn't much of one, not unless you really got your nose into the glass. When I did get the aroma, it was pleasant enough.
As a side note at this point, I was working on my computer while I was tasting this wine. Abruptly, my screen monitor flickered and said it's last farewell. Not wanting to dilly dally, I immediately ran to a local shop to get a new one so I could continue. Came back home, started to install and realized I needed an adaptor for the connection as my computer is a little old. Not ancient mind you, just old. Maybe in tech speak it is ancient?? So off I go, back to the store to buy an adaptor.
Why is all this important? The glass of wine I poured had a good hour or two before I even had the time or inclination to try it. Please don't hold my 2 hour repair time against me. Some of that was travel and unpacking.
So new monitor in place and ready to roll. I will say the aroma did pick up a skosh. The first sip was nice. Not overwhelming. Good dark fruit with hearty tannins, very Bordeauxish. Good to point out here for those who don't already know me, I'm not a huge fan of Bordeaux wines. With the balance of fruit, however, this was an enjoyable wine, especially when you factor in the price in the mid $30 range.
The last comment I'll make is that I thought I had two of the 2014's. I realized I had a 2013 and 2014, so availability for 2013 is not very likely. 2014 may still be available but I have seen the 2015's on retailers shelves already. So for those that are into a little more earthy and slightly drier wines, this may be something to consider.