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Monday, December 15, 2014

Duckhorn: The Little Black Dress of Wine

It was Coco Chanel who came up with the Little Black Dress concept in the 1920s; that versatile, unadulterated mainstay and must-have centerpiece to any woman’s wardrobe – a classic piece of clothing that could be accessorized or not; clean, pure, functional and elegant all at the same time. Duckhorn Vineyards in Napa Valley is the Little Black Dress of the wine world. A visit in December 2014 reminded me exactly why this is true.

Duckhorn is best known for Merlot, Cabernet, and Sauvignon Blanc: consistent, elegant, restrained and structured wines that never raise questions of integrity, nor disappoint. They are one of the blue chip wineries in Napa. At my tasting, just like revisiting old friends who get better funnier and more compatible with age, Duckhorn wines are both familiar and comforting, old-school but still cool.

Selena Gomez and her Little Black Dress
Sure, there is always a move towards flashy trendy, current, hip and employing the ‘wow factor.’ But those moments always disappear, and true staying power is what’s important. Think of any actor who splashed on the big screen with accolades, awards and throngs of admirers, but who has since left the building. That’s why they have “Were Are They Now?” shows. Duckhorn will never be that show. The perfect believability of their portfolio of wines is exactly what people crave. As a wine writer, I’ve had these wines for years, under both ownerships, and there has never been fault, only the comfort and subtle appreciation for what is reliable and unfailing.

The porch is the place to fly at Duckhorn
If you have not visited Duckhorn, or are wary of the flashy new hipster wineries in Napa (or elsewhere), consider a re-visit with Duckhorn. Their grounds are beautiful, the interior classy and appealing with maple wood tones and the wrap-around porch is the desired place to be, even on a gray and overcast December day. Checkers the cat will be ambling about, the service will be attentive, courteous and you feel like you’re back where you belong; right where classy meets

See my other Duckhorn portfolio reviews: Goldeneye

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