Wine Tasting Notes, 2008: Paraduxx Release Party


The Paraduxx fermentation room.

Tonight I attended the release party at Paraduxx Winery. They have a beautiful facility, just a touch north of the Stags Leap District on the Silverado Trail. For me, the centerpiece of the property is their fermentation room, which is a stunning rotunda with an incredible domed wooden ceiling. The stainless steel tanks, probably about 15 of them, are all set back against the walls of the building, with a large basket press occupying the center of the room. This unique configuration actually creates a very functional workspace during harvest and crush, since the tanks are all equidistant from the press.

There was a Spanish theme at the event tonight, with a flamenco guitarist and catering by Feast out of Santa Rosa. Lots of good food abounded, one of my favorites being grilled swekers with chorizo and mahi mahi. The chorizo was delicious, just slightly charred with a nice spice profile. The pungent flavor lingered just long enough to influence the fish component, which was perfectly cooked, tender and flaky (I’m assuming the chorizo must have been par-cooked before going on the skewer). The other memorable item was the paella. Technically, this was not a true paella, but more of a chilled pasta salad with paella components (orzo pasta replaced the rice). It was a clever twist on classic Mediterranean comfort food, and the chilled dish worked well in the warm weather. Each bowl was chock full of mussels and shrimp, and was garnished with a saffron aioli. Superb.

In terms of the wine, the niche at Paraduxx is their Cabernet Sauvignon-Zinfandel blends. I’m not sure that any other winery in Napa blends these two varietals. Because these blends tend to vary somewhere around 60-40, the wines at Paraduxx cannot have any varietals listed on their front labels (it would require at least 75% Cab, or 85% Zin, to allow a varietal labelling). I tasted their three current releases, which are the 2005 Paraduxx Napa Valley Red Wine, the 2005 Postmark Napa Valley Red Wine Rector Creek Vineyard, and the 2005 Postmark Napa Valley Red Wine Howell Mountain. The latter wine was my favorite of the three, although the Rector Creek seems to have a loyal following.

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