I have been to Napa three times, but still one of my fondest memories was visiting Duckhorn Winery for the very first time. There’s something about the place: a gorgeous tasting room with huge windows overlooking the vineyard, with a beautiful garden and huge trees, under which are set cozy seating and tables. The day I was there was perfect, not a cloud in the sky, and I remember sitting with my wife under the shade of this majestic tree, drinking phenomenal wine, listening to Natasha Bedingfield perform live, and thinking to myself: how can this moment get any better?
Every time I pick up a bottle of Duckhorn wine, I am brought back to that moment, because they just don’t make a bad wine. Some are better than others, certainly, and I definitely prefer the Napa versions of their wines, but I would not pass up any Duckhorn wine, and neither should you.
Many Duckhorn wines play with the word duck: Decoy, Canvasback, Goldeneye, Migration, and Paraduxx – which is not only a variation of the word paradox, but also A Pair Of Ducks, namely the founders of Duckhorn Winery, Dan and Margaret Duckhorn! It is also one of my favorite red wines.
Duckhorn is another legendary Napa wine family, right up there with Mondavi, Martini, Wente and Beringer. Unlike those families, however, the Duckhorns were the first to make a luxury Merlot. Merlot gets a bad rap because people think it’s just not as good as Cabernet, but the truth is: done right, Merlot is one of the richest, complex, and delicious red wines in the world. In Bordeaux, for example, Merlot is the primary grape in some of the most expensive and highly regarded wines you can buy: Chateau Petrus, Pomerol, and St. Emilion – all so-called “Right Bank Bordeaux” are mostly Merlot.
The Paraduxx Proprietary Red Wine blend is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, but needless to say utilizes some of the family’s luxury Merlot (about 20%) as well as Zinfandel and Petit Verdot. Year after year, Paraduxx is consistently smooth, rich and structured, and if I could drink it every day, I would! Sadly, that is not in my budget to accomplish, so I find myself ordering it at Walt’s Hitching Post, where is it on the wine list for you to try.
Treat yourself to the 2015 version of Paraduxx, and you’ll enjoy delicious plum and dark cherry flavors, integrated with cinnamon and dark chocolate, herbs and spices. This wine won’t hit you over the head with power, it’s medium to full-bodied, with some nice tannins and a fresh acidity, and would pair nicely with almost any meat dish. We had it with a filet mignon chili at our last wine dinner at Walt’s, and it was delicious.
On my five-cork scale based on taste and value, I give the 2015 Paraduxx Proprietary Red Wine 4.25 corks. Like I said, it’s one of my favorites, consistently good, but at $45 or more, not an inexpensive wine to purchase, or my rating would be higher. Certain sites sometimes mark it down to $30 or less, so watch for those deals, and definitely try it the next time you’re at Walt’s for dinner. You’ll thank me later.
If you’d like to try interesting wines like this, please join me at our next private wine party at Walt’s Hitching Post, 3300 Madison Pike, Fort Wright, KY! I host a wine dinner there every month, and we feature several interesting wines, each paired with a delicious course. There are always cool prizes to win, too, so listen Wednesday at 4:15 to win your spot on the guest list, or click here for a chance to win!