Paraduxx is a relatively small Napa winery that specializes in Napa Valley red wine blends. It is a subsidiary of Duckhorn Wine Company, a much larger brand, and although the Paraduxx blends have been produced for nearly two decades, their winery only opened in 2005 when they acquired some great vineyards on the Silverado Trail. Their wines are zinfandel-based, with other varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blended in to give the wines a bolder and more expressive flavor – but keep them feeling like they are from California.
For anyone who has never been wine tasting, let me just say that it is a fun experience. You don’t have to be a wine expert to enjoy it, either. You just have to come to the winery of your choice, take a seat and sample a few wines. You’ll probably find that you like some and don’t like others – and that is fine, because it is all part of the experience! My best advice is to have fun by trying to pick out the flavors in the tasting notes. Also, keep notes of what you do like so you can pick some up next time you’re out buying a bottle of wine – since after tasting a few wines (even if you “spit”), they can start to run together in your memory.
At Paraduxx, we started out with the very enjoyable 2011 Paraduxx V Blend before our red tasting. It is a just-released white wine blend that was sweet and easy to drink, with nice notes of fruit, cream and burnt sugar.
We were lucky enough to be able to do a vertical tasting of their wine, which is where you taste the same wine over several different vintages. We tasted red blends vintages from 2006 to 2009 (they changed naming conventions in 2009, where we had the Z blend, as the brand started to offer a wider range of wines). Wine lovers will tell you that this gives you a lot of insight into how the flavor of the grapes change from season to season. I definitely agree with this, and even if you’re not an experienced wine taster you can see the evolution of the wine over time. It is really great way to compare and contrast different wines. They were all quite fruity, with some smooth, but strong tannins in the finishes. The fruits noticeably changed from year to year, which was very interesting to taste. I would pick the Paraduxx 2007 as my favorite of the bunch, in case you see it.
The 10-sided fermentation room, which is where the winery houses its large collection of stainless steel tanks and French oak fermentation barrels, is beautiful. You can get a peek into the building from the patio outside the main tasting room, and you can come up a little closer on one of the tours that they offer. The beauty of room, of course, doesn’t have much bearing on the flavor of the finished wine (it has a lot more to do with the grapes, the winemaker and the barrels involved), but helps to make this winery a really nice place for a tasting.
The winery isn’t huge and doesn’t produce a tremendous volume of wine, compared to its parent company, Duckhorn. That said, the barrel room is still pretty impressive when you look in and see rows upon rows barrels stacked all the way to the ceiling!
The tasting room itself is lovely, and the patio area outside is a wonderful place to pass an hour or two on a nice day. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can sign up for one of the blending classes they offer (in addition to a tasting) and try your hand at a little winemaking of your own.
7257 Silverado Trail
Napa Valley, CA 94558
Toll Free: (866) 367-9943
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