When I first saw the name Double Decker, I thought this must be some kind of English Wine imported from London, but to my surprise, it is purely Napa Valley, with the name being utilized purely for marketing purposes. To create a market share for a new wine in an extremely crowded market is quite a challenge, but in the case of Double Decker they have a built in advantage—being part of the Wente Estate dynasty.
Let’s start with the Pinot Grigio 2011 which is certainly fresh, crisp and easy to sip, and since both wines are priced at $11.99, a good value as well. Food pairings with this wine would be an array of salads, grilled chicken, seafood and dishes with a spicy kick. The wine is aged in stainless steel tanks and is held at a cold temperature to retain the fruity flavors. Those flavors consist of green apple, lime and a touch of mineral which creates the crispness.
The Double Decker Red Blend consists of a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Syrah and Barbera. The taste is a rich blend of black cherry, plum and blackberry, creating a robust, yet smooth concoction. All of the components of this blend were aged separately in a combination of neutral oak and stainless steel tanks.
Wente Vineyards in Livermore, California, was founded in 1883, and was named American winery of the year in 2011 by Wine Enthusiast magazine. In 1912 Carl Wente was persuaded to import some Chardonnay cuttings from Montpelier, France, and the result today is that there are almost 100,000 acres in California dedicated to Chardonnay.
Wente was also one of the first vineyards in California to launch a restaurant on the property and today there is also a Greg Norman designed golf course and a concert venue hosting top acts such as Chicago and REO Speedwagon booked for this summer.
In 2008 founder Carl Heinrich Wente was inducted into the “Vintners Hall of Fame” and in 2010 the winery was presented a lifetime achievement award at the California State Fair. Their impressive portfolio also includes Murrieta’s Well and taMAS Estate Wineries.
Here are just a few of the Wente Estate wines we like a lot:
2011 Cabernet Sauvignon-Charles Wetmore Estate (California’s first agriculture commissioner) has traces of berry, chocolate and oak. Rich, luscious taste.
Riva Ranch from Arroyo Seco in Monterey. Tropical flavors from the long, cool growing season
The Spur 2010 from Murrieta’s Well. Red Blend with 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Petite Verdot, 23% Malbec and 5% Petite Syrah grapes.
The Spur 2011 from Murrieta’s Well. Red Blend with 31% Petite Syrah, 29% Petite Verdot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec and 5% Cabernet Franc.