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A Cabernet from Bird Land

Posted on: September 6th, 2011 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

If you’re searching for a red wine that your “birds” will love, take a good look at Duckhorn Wine Company’s  red blend Decoy” Cabernet Sauvignon release. It is in general distribution and this season’s sales are showing excellent pricing at about $25/bottle.

When the affordable Decoy label came out about 20 years ago, it was well-received by those who like Duckhorn wines as a value option to their more pricy high-end lineup. The good news is that Decoy Cabernet is about 1/3 the cost of the regular Duckhorn Cab, but still retains many of the characteristics that make Duckhorn’s wines so good.

It is also skillfully blended with some Merlot and Cab Franc, making it quite suitable for an easy-to-drink informal dinner wine that is easy on the wallet. So for now, the Decoy tradition continues, a good Napa Valley cab on a budget.

To provide an even bigger boost to the budget, Decoy often goes on sale for less than $20 at Cost Plus World Market. This adds up to a good buy for any occasion.

The bouquet of Decoy is quite interesting with a combination of black berry and ripe cherry that mellows within a few minutes of pouring. This is quite intricate for a Napa wine for the price. Most other brands cannot approach this value.  The berries follow through in the body displaying a soft finish with a good combination of dark fruit, tannins, acid base, and slightly higher alcohol. It’s simply a classy blend. The current release does give away its youth and will surely get even better over the next few years.

Pair it with broiled steak or lamb. The fruitiness of this wine also goes well with chocolate-covered strawberry dessert.  Just why this works doesn’t make sense, but many of the young Napa Valley cabs just like to be with chocolate and fruit, so save an extra bottle for use after the main meat course.

Serve slightly chilled after 20 minutes in the fridge (65 degrees). Decanting may bring out some of the background of Rutherford flavors that seem to be in the blend, but just guessing where they really come from.

Article by Tom Peiffer, Phoenix Wine Shopping Examiner at Examiner.com

View more of Tom’s articles on Examiner.com by visiting his writer’s page.

About the Author - Tom Peiffer

Tom has been an avid wine consumer and collector for over 20 years. This pastime has taken he and his family on many visits to wine growing regions, including Arizona. During these excursions, with the accompanying tastings and lectures, it became clear that there is no "magic bullet" wine. For each wine contains its own character, strong points, and weaknesses. Sharing these experiences to help anyone purchase locally available wines is his goal.

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