The Duckhorn Vineyard was founded in 1976 by Margaret and Dan Duckhorn with 800 cases of Merlot and 800 cases of Sauvignon Blanc. The concept was to keep the wine fun and fresh but using the traditional ways of making wine in France. While of course known for their own Duckhorn wines, over time so many amazing additions have been added to the portfolio, including the Caldera and Paraduxx which we were fortunate to try.
Guests were warmly welcomed to the event with the Decoy Brut, made by using all three champagne grapes, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. It makes a great celebratory cocktail wine.
And so began the tasting…
The first pairing was with the Duckhorn Chardonnay which is 100% chardonnay. It is made with a combination of new and used oak which doesn’t overwhelm the fruit. The chardonnay definitely had a citrus note, and I loved the combination with the shrimp and the bright pop even with just adding a bit of fresh lime. The leeks were so rich with a nice caramelized butter flavor and overall the dish was beautifully light and balanced.
In 1975 Duckhorn acquired Calera Wines from the legendary Josh Henson. More of an old world style of wine, it is leaner, clean and bright with some fresh acidity. This Calera Wine for the second course was 100% Pinot Noir, barreled in French Oak.
The cherry note and earthiness paired so well with the mushroom flavor which really made that delicious cream sauce that I found to be the star. Generally mushrooms and pinot noir make great pairings. I also loved the nice crispy texture and how the greens added a bit of freshness.
The Paraduxx Red is one of their Napa-based blends. It is 53% Cab Sauv and 12% petite sirah. It is a very modern bright fresh fruit with elements shining through the French oak. It is a fuller wine than the Pinot Noir and the limestone brings some minerals to the wine.
This was another very tasty course with a nice herbaceous flavor from the crust and lovely earthiness from the purple potatoes, definitely a more special take as opposed to typical mashed potatoes. There was also a sweetness from the glazed carrots, which added another great flavor profile to the dish. It was complex , well executed, and very tasty.
The Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa is a blend similar to a bordeaux. It has a balanced complexity and elegance to the wine. It is barreled in second-hand French oak, which adds elegance and finesse to the wine. With the oxygen coming in to evolve the wine, it is definitely approachable with a nice vanilla note.
While bold, the wine was not heavy and it paired really well with the nicely seasoned and tender duck. There was sweetness from the sauce as well as the squash, which contrasted nicely with the richness of the duck.
Finally was the City Winery Port, which was sweet, but not overly so, it made a nice contrast to the chocolate and cherry dessert. The cake was fantastic, and not an outright chocolate flavor but more of a deep cocoa which complemented the fruitiness of the wine and was a harmonious balance.
As always, it was a lovely experience put together by City Winery. Don’t miss the next one coming up next Tuesday June 27 for their second annual “Summer At The Pier” event featuring another five-course food and wine pairing event.
Check out my Recap from the last food and wine experience ft Bonny Doon
For more info on Duckhorn Vineyards click here