This is a young sommelier's adventure through wine, liquor and the world. You will find no ratings here. You will find somethings that are sometimes geeky, sometimes irreverent, and always presented in my own unique (and dyslexic) way. Hopefully, the content inspires exploration, a sense of adventure, a good icebreaker for conversation, and even a good sense of humor about the magical juice we call wine, the insane elixirs of ting the world of liquor, and the culture surrounding all of it. .

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Flashback to Childhood with Some Duckhorn

So, now is the time for a bit of a blast from the past. I have been sick for the las few days, and have not done much other than lounge around, search the web, catch up on all my shows (that Glee finally...WOW), and sleep. However, I got a call to go to lunch with a rep from Duckhorn, and this is on thing I can't often turn down.

A little history: Duckhorn was really the first wine I knew about. My father would travel to Chicago and almost every week would talk about these Duckhorn wines especially Paraduxx. To me, these meant nothing, but then I started working with wine and I starting to get it. These wines are both well made and playful. They were such a part of me growing up that my dad was given a bottle of the merlot for the year I was born, which we enjoyed a few Thanksgivings ago.

Today, I was able to taste down the line of Duckhorn's wines, but I really wanted to highlight 3 of them. The reason I point these out is because these are the three wines that really made Duckhorn that special thing for me.

We start with Goldeneye, their higher end pinot noir. This wine is gritty and earthy, with lush fruits and subtile spices that drive the finish into a wonderful place. It is a great great wine for special occasions or just a killer wine to drink every day.

The second in the merlot. I will tout merlot here as much as possible in an effort to break the stigma set by Sideways. While they might not like "f*cking merlot", I DO. This '09 merlot is brighter and more vibrant than the pinot. The fruits are lush and sweet, the tannins are smooth, and the finish is lush and lingering. This was their flagship wine for a good reason.

And now on to Paraduxx. This blend was something that Duckhorn became famous not because of the wine, but because of the labels that were designed by different artists each year, always featuring two ducks. They have now changed the label to a more consistent label, which it ok (I will miss the new labels). This vintage is 69% Zin and the remainder is Cab. This is a playful wine, bright with fruits, big tannins, and baking spices that make this wine dance on your tongue. It's a great every day wine, or one that will help warm you up as winter comes to a close.

Go grab one of these and hopefully you'll see why they were a big part of my development as a somm. Happy sipping!

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