2017 Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir
Sometimes in the wine world, a long legacy of crafting quality wines doesn’t lead to recognition. But in the case of Parducci, it’s a situation we can correct!
Parducci is an enduring Mendocino County outpost of California wine. The estate’s founder, John Parducci, is known as Mr. Mendocino. Located just north of Sonoma, Mendocino has been producing wine just as long as Sonoma and Napa. Perhaps because it’s farther north, Mendocino is a sleepier, more rural county. (By the way, Mendocino is a lot of fun to visit. You miss all the tourists, and the county’s wineries are actually happy to see you!)
John’s always been a booster of Mendocino wine. In 1932, at the end of Prohibition and when John was 14, his wine career began when he sold 40 rail cars of his family’s grapes to home vintners across the country. In 1940, he became the family estate’s head winemaker, a role he occupied for more than a half-century, until 1994.
John’s vision continues today, with the next generation of Parduccis making the winery 100% carbon neutral, 100% sustainably farmed and 100% green-powered, with 100% water conservation. (This means all the water the estate uses is treated, captured and reused.) The estate is also a wildlife sanctuary, and they have an organic farm that produces over 150 pounds of produce each week for the local co-op. The Parducci family values great farming and Mendocino County’s quality of life.
But none of that would matter if they didn’t make wine as delicious as this Pinot.
Pinot is the anchor of Thanksgiving. Its supple charm smooths over all the extreme contrasts (both in terms of food and relatives) that bring clashes to the Thanksgiving table. Its abundant soft red fruits meld with all the contrasting flavors on the table. From turkey to cranberry sauce, roasted Brussels sprouts to pureed sweet potatoes, a Pinot pairing can’t be beat.
Now I’d love to serve all my dinner guests Grand Cru Burgundy. Correction. I like to serve myself Grand Cru Burgundy at Thanksgiving, but then I need a Pinot that is going to be tasty enough for me, but priced for them. You know the feeling – seeing Uncle Pogonic taking a 32-ounce home pour, or Grandma Discerptor icing up your precious offering is uncool. But seeing them have a good time, with great wine (at a reasonable price!) is the perfect way to relax and enjoy your holiday.
And Waterford has a sweetheart of a deal on Parducci’s Russian River Pinot Noir.
The Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir offers cascades of raspberry fruit intermixed with baking spices, caramelized oranges, graham cracker, and touches of vanilla bean. It’s silky and smooth on the palate with a dynamic expression of fruit-driven richness. The tannins are soft, velvety and fully integrated into the wine. The wine is open, expressive and showing wonderful depth and poise. You may in fact be tempted to keep it all to yourself!
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