Photo by Photo by Mike Graff

Photo by Photo by Mike Graff

Cedar Knoll Vineyard 2006

Back By Mario Ortiz

Cedar Knoll Vineyard 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with cherry chocolate duck:

The wine is comprised of 78 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 16 percent Merlot, 3 percent Cabernet Franc and 3 percent Petit Verdot. The Cabernet Franc gives it body to stand up to the rich meat. The Merlot and Petite Verdot bond to enhance the soft French oak and the foam that completes this dish. The wine’s dark fruit are very forward yet balanced and will deliver a long, memorable finish.Henry Hagen, one of Napa Valley’s pioneer winemakers, established Cedar Knoll Vineyard in 1891. The vineyards survived the wine country’s phylioxera infestation in the 1890s, but Prohibition was fatal. The winery fell into disrepair and the vineyards lay untended for 80 years until the Palmaz family purchased the property. Today, the vineyards are burgeoning, the restored Hagen house is a family home again and the winery has been reinvented.

Where to find it:

At the winery at Palmaz Vineyards ( and at The Firehouse (

What to eat with this wine:

Chef Deneb’s cherry chocolate duck. This is a house-made confit of Sonoma saveur artisan duck leg pan seared with a dark cherry glaze and almond milk foam, polenta cake and chili-chocolate mole paint.

Mario Ortiz is the general manager and sommelier at The Firehouse in Old Sacramento.