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They've won an award you know; one celebrating their status as the "Greenest Winery in the US". Dunno who decided this or who handed over the trophy to the fine people of Parducci Wine Cellars but one would hope the trophy was imaginatively constructed from recycled wine bottles.

While residing in the 'consumers don't give a shite' camp about such credentials such info is 'nice to know'. We in the UK buy by price and pretty labels or if you happen to know a bit (snob!) by grape type, producer, region, food matching plans.

But on the back label of these four new Parducci wines are the credentials laid out in easy to digest bullet point - locally owned and operated, grapes from family farms, protecting the environment, earth-friendly packaging, carbon neutrality, solar power... Perhaps, at these price points (£10.99/£11.99), reading the back label is of more import than on lower priced 'brands'.

While I applaud Parducci's sustainability policies and achievements, of which I am sure they are rather proud, one can't help wondering why do these points take precedence over describing the wine? And why something instantly understandable "sustainable winegrowing practices" is not included in the rather prosaic and unexplained list.

The four newly released wines are two single varietal (a Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel) and two blends (a Chardonnay/Viognier/Pinot Grigio/Muscat Canelli and a Syrah/Zinfandel/Carignan/Petite Sirah/Viognier). All are sealed under screw-cap.

The wines are a joint effort between Paul Dolan and Steve Daniel, the team that bought you Fetzer, and are a lesson in what Californian wine should be; modern, balanced, sustainably farmed and above all affordable! Parducci Wine Cellars, set up by Paul Dolan and Tim Thornhill in 2004, is the realization of their shared visions - committed to sustainable business, dedication to building community, respect for tradition and confidence in the immense potential of Mendocino County grape growing and winemaking.

Parducci are to be presented the 2011 International Award of Excellence in Sustainable Winegrowing by the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) in October for their exemplary use of renewable energies, recycled packaging and water conservation efforts.
Parducci focus on making wine from locally farmed grapes, recycling 100% of the winery waste water utilising an onsite wetland as well as using sustainable farming practices and employing earth-friendly packaging. Their labels are made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper, and printed with soy and water-based inks. The winery is also powered from 100% renewable energy from 10,000-square feet of solar panels and bought-in wind power."

parducci red wines

Wasn't that keen on the Parducci Mendocino Country Sauvignon Blanc 2010 [Adegga / Snooth], it seemed to lack the snap and zass the zest and punch one expects from a Sauvignon, being more rounded, simplistic melony and citrusy. (Alcohol 13.5%).

The Parducci Deep Roots White, 2010, Mendocino County, [Adegga / Snooth]on the other hand combined all those grape types into something much more interesting. While initially easy to dismiss as 'just' another chardonnay it is with a little concentration that the aroma reveals more lemon and floral hints, the grapiness of the Muscat plays along too. The palate is firmly in the lemon corner with apple and pear dominating, all unsullied by oak. (Alcohol 14%)

A fan of Zinfandel? The Parducci Zinfandel 2009, Mendocino County [Adegga / Snooth] won't disappoint offering that full, deep flavoursome, robustness that one expects. Its dry with a spice-pepper led finish. Alcohol 14%.

But as with the whites my preference goes with the blend. Fuller, more rounded with greater depth of palate and complexity of flavor. The Parducci Deep Roots Red, 2009, Mendocino County [Adegga / Snooth] has a robustness, a roughness, a dryness that needs food. Plenty of blackberry fruit, length a little abrupt and the alcohol quite high at 14.5%, but I like it.

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