Canard Estate Reserve Zinfandel 2017

Calistoga, Napa Valley
$95 (Wine Club Reorder $85)

Coming to you from the oldest Zinfandel vines in Napa Valley, the Canard Reserve Zinfandel is highly coveted. Rich (Duck) and his wife Carolyn searched for years to find the perfect plot of land for the types of grape they wanted to grow. They purchased their estate in 1983 and have been making wine ever since. Canard in Spanish means Duck, which is Rich’s nickname. With Duckhorn already being an established winery, Duck knew better than to get involved in what would’ve been a legal battle. Hence, Canard!

The twenty-five acre estate property is a historic vineyard in Napa Valley, situated on the Northwest corner of Dunaweal Lane and Silverado Trail in Calistoga. It was the original homestead of Reason P. Tucker, who gained notoriety for leading the efforts to rescue the survivors of the ill-fated Donner Party (if you don’t know the story, a brief synopsis: a group of emigrants traveling from IL to CA got stuck in winter snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains near present-day Truckee and resorted to cannibalism to survive).

Anyway, back to the wine: The Zinfandel vines were planted over 135 years ago and remarkably, those dry farmed vines still stand, yielding a small quantity of incredibly elegant fruit, which goes into this extremely limited Estate Reserve Zinfandel.

These incredibly unique vines may only yield a small amount of grapes, but what they do yield is unlike anything in existence in Napa Valley. This elegant expression of Zinfandel spends two years in new French oak and another year in the bottle before it is released. On the nose, cloves, blackberries, allspice and plums with hints of sweet vanilla. Persimmons, figs and brambly black fruit dominate the palate. The rich and full bodied mouth feel gives way to an elegant tannin structure and a long, smooth finish. Truly a very special wine. So special, Robert Parker scored it 90 Points.

In honor of Duck, we recommend pairing this wine with duck breast with Tamarind sauce.

Taylor Morgan – July 2021

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