Picayune “Padlock” Red Blend 2017

Napa Valley
$36 (Wine Club Reorder Price: $32)

Something that has been in high demand lately is “Tuesday night wines.” We get it, most people like to save those higher end bottles for Friday nights or special occasions. Enter stage left, Picayune: The Friday night wine at a Tuesday night price.

The key on the label of Picayune stands for “unlocking secret wines of California”. They sign confidential agreements with all the producers from whom they purchase fruit, which is why vineyard sources are not listed on the labels. A.K.A. they’re getting really high end fruit and have the ability to price it however they want.

The winemaker Claire Ducrocq Weinkauf is a French native who earned her winemaking degree in Chile before working harvests in Côtes du Rhône and Saint-Émilion. It was when she met Paul Hobbs in South America that everything started to fall into place. Paul hired her to work at Viña Cobos (his award winning venture in Argentina) before bringing her to California in 2006. After four years working with Paul Hobbs and numerous opportunities to taste amazing wines and meet wine industry leaders, Claire started her wine consulting company in 2010. She now lives in Calistoga with her husband who is the winemaker at Spottswoode (we wonder if this is one of their sources for fantastic fruit!?).

The Padlock is a Bordeaux style blend of 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Cabernet Franc, and 28% Merlot. It has a dark Ruby color, deep layers of black cherries, cassis, blackberries, cocoa, currants and a bit of truffle on the nose, the wine is elegant and sexy. Each year the Padlock is a different style blend with the same goal in mind: to make a “drink now” wine that over delivers for its price.

You can pair this wine with a wide variety of foods as its layers of complexity can complement pork chops or a fatty steak. Whatever you do, I would try to include a side of Truffle mashed potatoes. The creamy buttery potatoes will contrast with any bitter tannins and the truffle will complement the earthy flavors in the wine.

Taylor Morgan – April 2021

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