Friday, October 10, 2008


Duckhorn Wine Company
Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Napa Valley
St. Helena, CA

$49.99 at Whole Foods, Evanston, IL

Color: Deep raspberry
Nose: Blackberries, anise, pepper
Body: Medium to full
Front: Plums
Middle: Chocolate
Back: Cedar, banana
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Cork

A few years ago, my good friend Todd introduced me to this wine. Todd is a lover of what most of us would call bad puns. His favorite joke is the old standby, “A horse walks into a bar…” etc. So I was taken a bit by surprise when this wine with a silly name turned out to be astonishingly good, complex, rich, evolutionary. Todd’s jokes turned out to be funnier than I thought; the world seemed to be a more recoverable project; the birds were all lightness and splendor; and even the squirrels seemed full of wisdom.

That was the 2003, I think. The 2004 was better; the 2005 is stunning, too. Though it’s largely Zinfandel, this is Silverado Trail wine, so it can stand up to serious food. This wine is a catalyst for joy.