I love Duckhorn!
It's been a few weeks, and I may have completed my out-of-the country travel for a while. In February, I spent a few days in Montpellier at an incredible event called VinIsud (showing wines from the Rhone Valley and other regions in the south of France) and a few days in Bordeaux, meeting my Bordelais pals. In March and April, I spent over a week tasting several hundred 2009 Bordeaux (some incredible wines came from this special years, but not everyone did well) and finally home to California where I was promptly greeted with an extraordinary Duckhorn Vineyards Retrospective Tasting in San Francisco.
In a special tasting spanning more than 30 years, we tasted both the 1978 Three Palms Merlot (quite mature) and the surprisingly incredible 1978 Cabernet with many vintages in-between. At the end of the retrospective, we were treated to Duckhorn's new wine: the 2006 Discussion, a super Bordelais red blend. The room filled with some of the Bay Area's top tasters featured Dan and Margaret Duckhorn with Executive Winemaker Bill Nancarrow and President Alex Ryan. Speaking candidly about the past, present and future, the Bay Area elite were treated to rare, up-close and personal stories on where Duckhorn Vineyards is heading. The older wines showed well and the newest wines appeared to be even better. There is no question that Duckhorn Vineyards is currently one of America's greatest wine companies. Covering many brands and categories (Duckhorn Vineyards, Paraduxx, Goldeneye, Migration and Decoy, this company doesn't simple just cover the gamut but does it all with flying colors.
So as my body and palate are once again firm planted on terra firma (in the San Francisco Bay Area), I find myself reaching more often to the roots that got me here. While I was dazzled some 30 years ago when I first popped the 1978 Duckhorn wines and was reintroduced to them about 10 days ago, I can now be really rest assured that the newest wines could be a signal that the best is yet to come. Tonight, I am drinking the 2006 Three Palms Merlot and hoping the San Francisco Giants can beat the St. Louis Cardinals. By the way the wine is showing very well. BevMo is currently offering a number of fine Duckhorn wines including; the bold and ripe 2006 Cabernet and the smooth and sleek 2007 Merlot. From their Decoy label, the 2009 Sauvignon Blanc is pure and fresh and the 2008 Pinot Noir is one of the best in the marketplace. It is great to be home where can say, I love "Duck(horn)".
My tasting sheet at the Duckhorn Retrospective and Discussion Tasting (Photo by Wilfred Wong, April 13, 2010, San Francisco, CA)
The wonderfully complex and developed 1978 Duckhorn Cabernet, one doesn't always have to reach into the Bordeaux cellar for the best wines of 1970's. (Photo taken by Wilfred Wong)