November 23, 2007

Paraduxx Winery, Napa Valley CA

Ever since I popped open a bottle of the '04 Paraduxx I'd been eagerly anticipating my visit to the Paraduxx Winery, which is located along the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley, just a bit north of Yountville. This was my favorite wine tasting of our entire trip. As soon as we walked in we were greeted with smiling, friendly faces and a glass of Parajaxx Rose, which I had no idea they even made and doubt you can purchase it anywhere outside of the winery. Once we finished the Parajuxx we were given the option of being seated at the indoor tables or the nice comfortable looking wicker couches outside. We chose to sit outside amongst the beautiful surrounding scenery which include rows and rows of grapes, flowers, and gravelly trails.

I have to give Paraduxx major points for their attentiveness and overall happy attitude towards pouring their wines. I called two weeks prior to make an appointment and casually mentioned I was interested in their more limited 'Postmark' label wines, which are technically sold out. (Thanks to a tip from Trevor at the Cork Board). Barbara, whom I spoke with on the phone walked out to greet us with a huge grin and let us know that since I mentioned it on the phone, they had popped open a Magnum of the 2004 Rector Creek Postmark, and had been pouring it as a bonus with every one's tastings for that day. It was very refreshing to see a winery take that attitude towards a limited production wine that was sold out (except for about 8 magnums). After I thanked Barbara we sat back and relaxed in anticipation of our wine flight. It was an amazingly sunny fall day with birds chirping. I could have relaxed here sipping wine all afternoon if it wasn't for our other appointments we had for the day. The wines were brought to us on a silver serving tray along with some tasty Mimolette and another nice local artisan cheese which I didn't write down and can't remember the name of. Our particular tasting was a Paruduxx vertical with the Rector Creek Postmark and another eclectic new blend named Canvasback to finish. The wines are served in contemporary Reidel "O" stemless glassware and there was no spit bucket, which was fine by me.

Tasting Notes:

2003 Paraduxx Red Wine: This wine is a blend of 63% Zinfandel, 33% Cabernet, 2% Merlot, and 2% Cab Franc coming in at 14.5% Alcohol. Dark color in the glass. Aged 18 months in oak, this wine exhibited pleasant aromas of cherries, raspberries, and toasty oak. Nice mouth feel with flavors of jammy dark berries and a slightly unpleasant taste of cedar. Medium - high tannins and a mild spice finish. Score: 88.

2004 Paraduxx Red Wine: Nice blend of 65% Zinfandel, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 7% Merlot. 14.5% Alcohol. Aged 18 months in oak. Very nice inky black color in the glass with scarlet at the rim. My favorite Paraduxx wine of them all. I've had this wine a number of times and on this gorgeous fall afternoon it did not disappoint. Strong aromas of blackberries and pepper. Hints of cherry and spice. Great mouth feel, very smooth. I'm loving the Merlot in the one. This vintage seems a bit more complex than the others to me. Nice long finish. Score: 91

2005 Paraduxx Red Wine: 60% Zinfandel, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 2% Cab Franc. 14.5% Alcohol. Unlike the previous two vintages, this wine was just released this month and is too young to drink in my opinion. I'm not sure what it is but the '05 is doing something funky right now and hasn't quite come together yet. They also switched up the oak where the '05 is 40% new and 60% second vintage in comparison to the previous two vintages that were 70% new, 30% second. Needs up to another year I think before it will be barely ready to drink and show us it's true colors. Explosion of darker fruit on the nose with plums and dark cherries. Nice flavors of raspberries and secondary layers of chocolate but we both felt it was fairly awkward. Needs more time. Score: 87

2004 Postmark Rector Creek Red Wine: A blend with slightly more cab than the others, this wine is a blend of 62% Zinfandel and 38% Cabernet. 18 Months in all French oak. Jet black in the glass, this wine had much darker fruit than the others with the exception of maybe the Canvasback. Strong aromas of blueberries and boysenberries which carry over into the palate with cherries, a little oak and strong tannins. Very good wine and our second favorite of the bunch. We brought home a magnum of this and wanted to wait to drink it but just couldn't and popped it open on Thanksgiving. Delicious wine. Score: 90.

2004 Canvasback Red Wine: 62% Syrah, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Grenache. 14.5% Alcohol. 15 Months in oak. Canvasback is the misfit and lone duck of Paraduxx, striving to make it's own mark with a distinctive flavor profile when compared to the others. This is the first release of Canvasback and I see some great potential. I'm looking forward to next years release that will include about 20% Grenache and a dollop of Mourvedre. This wine was inky black in the glass with maroon at the rim. Earthier aromas of bramble brush, cherries and dried cranberries. Dark berry fruits on the palate and a pleasing finish. Quite different from the other Paraduxx releases and very interesting. I'm looking forward to next years blend. Score: 87

In conclusion, the visit to Paraduxx was an awesome experience. All of the tasting staff was amazing and made our time there a memorable one. I think the winery is going through some interesting changes right now. David Galzignato has taken over the winemaking duties from Bill Nacarrow, who is now the executive winemaker at Duckhorn. Paraduxx is a refreshing winery in the land of the big Napa Cab. They're creating uncommon blends, breaking free from Duckhorn's seemingly French oak only policy and mixing it up different styles and exciting new blends. I'm a little disappointed I wasn't able to try their 2004 Postmark Cabernet Sauvignon/Zinfandel, which is a reverse blend of 61% Cab and 39% Zin, but I thoroughly enjoyed everything else they had to offer. This is a winery I highly recommend visiting if you have the time!!!


TrevR said...

Glad to hear you enjoyed the visit!

GK said...

It was a great time and the people there are great! Suprised the '03 was your fave of the bunch but maybe it was in good form that day.

Scott said...

I mistakingly opened the 2004 Postmark Rector Creek at Thanksgiving and am regretting it ever since. It is by far the best bottle ever produced at Paraduxx..although the '05 looks like it has potential!

Scott said...

I mistakingly opened the 2004 Postmark Rector Creek at Thanksgiving and am regretting it ever since. It is by far the best bottle ever produced at Paraduxx..although the '05 looks like it has potential!

TrevR said...

Well, at least you enjoyed it. :) Ours is still sitting in the old wine fridge, not quite sure when we'll pull it out, but now you've got us excited!

Grape King said...

It looks like we both popped the '04 Postmark on Thanksgiving, however mine was intentional! I don't regret it but I do wish I had more of it. I picked up a few more of the 2004 Paraduxx the other day and I'm going to wait just a wee bit longer before I pop those.