It is a celebration night. Not a big celebration mind you, but a celebration that calls for a "California Champagne" with boursin and crackers to start while the final preparations are being made and a nice bottle of 2002 Paraduxx California red ($50).
We're having a veritable feast with an organic exotic greens salad, baked potato, butternut squash, artisan bread, cranberry sauce, and a fantastic main course of garlic herbed baked seitan. For all you non-vegetarians out there that last bit is probably a bit of a mystery. But it is one of our favorites here.
I bought the "California Champagne" (Cooks Brut) on sale for $6.99 and it is an unremarkable sparkling brut. What it lacks in sophistication it more than makes up for with what it adds to the ambiance. It is light and flowery with definite citrus underlay. This is fun and a fantastic start to the evening (one that will culminate in a family "Polar Express" movie watching event)
The Paraduxx is a very special treat. In case you are not familiar with this, it is a blend of Zin, Cab, and Merlot. The blend is proprietary but the flavor is out of this world.
On the eyes it is a deep but muted garnet with some signs of early age around the edge.
The Nose is simply amazing. There is a subtle jammy thickness which is not like the overwhelming fruity jam of other fruit-forward. I smell wet leather, strawberry preserves and just a hint of under-layered dark chocolate
On the palate the complex structure of this red shines - and this is just after opening. With some air the forward acid structure will soften and the subtleties will emerge. Even so, there is a soft strawberry and blueberry flavor with dark loam accented by a delightful oakiness. This is fantastic!
The finish is smooth and the typical cab "greenness" is cut by the softness of the zin. What a wine!
Overall the Paraduxx is a wonderful treat of a wine. It has complexity the way new world wines have fruit. It is like a punch in they kidneys immediately followed by a sensual back rub replete with oils and incense - WHAM! ahhhhhhhhh!
Quite a memorable experience all around. Raise a GLASS!