(Disclaimer: OK, so lets be honest here. I’m not some visionary in the wine blogger/reviewer space, who has vineyards mailing him cases of wine to review (yet). Therefore I’m going to review wineries, wines, and regions that I prefer…and that means that I’m going to say things like “I LOVE XYZ Vineyards” pretty often. Stick with me though, and soon we’ll start branching out. That, or maybe I’ll only review Cali wines. Either way, This’ll be fun.)
Now – Duckhorn; I mean – Paraduxx. For those who don’t know, Paraduxx is a ‘spinoff’ of Duckhorn from a wildly successful experiment with other varietals than their traditional Bordeaux blends. The Paraduxx website says it best: “Duckhorn Wine Company originally created Paraduxx to allow its winemakers the opportunity to explore other styles without detracting from Duckhorn Vineyards’ focus on Bordeaux varietals. In 1994, Paraduxx sourced four tons of Zinfandel from the 100-year-old vines of Napa’s Korte Vineyard. This Zinfandel was blended with Duckhorn Vineyards’ own Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah to create the first Paraduxx vintage.”
In the fall of 2005, Paraduxx opened its own independent facility on the Silverado Trail in Yountville. It’s beautiful architecture and landscaping make it a *very* refreshing and relaxing facility. They deliver you a tray of wines in Riedel ‘O’ glasses, paired with crackers and cheese. It’s a nice touch.
So, back to the wine….
I would have no idea that this was a Zinfandel driven wine if you didn’t tell me. I’d actually guess that it was Cabernet Franc heavy, to be honest. The ’05 is a blend of 60% Zinfandel; 32% Cabernet Sauvignon; 6% Merlot; 2% Cabernet Franc. It’s a little leaner than a zin is, but that could simply be a higher quality Zinfandel that isn’t grape jam, or that it is blended with a high quality Cabernet & Merlot. Then there’s that whole little ‘kick ass winemaker’ factor too.
There are a bunch of sweet tannins, but still has a sour streak to it. It makes you pucker a little, but in a good way. This would go extremely well with a fatty steak, like a grilled ribeye. There is an interesting dichotomy going on in the this blend – where the fruit-forward zin and the powerfully tannic cabernet wrestle in the glass. I’m still kinda on the fence about this blend. It seems like the 2 varietals are almost fighting each other TOO much…but the beautiful nose makes up for a lot. I think that if they maybe used a little more merlot and a little less cabernet, that this would round out alot and just be luscious.
The body has a lot of ‘opinionated’ flavors, like licorice, plums, and pumpkin pie spice. This really makes it tough to counter-balance the true jammy, dark fruits of a nice zinfandel, and it doesn’t allow it to make up it’s mind where it wants to go.
Hey, everyone’s a critic, right? It’s easy to say all this when you aren’t growing/making this. Overall though, this is a very nice wine. Solid, interesting, and not the norm. The flavors aren’t all playing ‘nice’ with each other, but that doesn’t make it bad either.
If I’m doing the points thing…I’d go somewhere between 89-91 pts, cuase I’d have to try it with food to truly know which of the 3 scores to actually give it.