What We Are Drinking Now:


As we are gearing up for the Seeing Red Wine Festival, we are excited to announce some of the attending Vintners. Blackbird Vineyards will be in attendance this year, so in honor of the Seaside Seeing Red Wine Festival's 25th anniversary, we are popping the top on the 2012 Blackbird Vineyards 10th Anniversary Illustration Merlot. 

Demonstrating notes of espresso and black licorice, this softly structured mid-palate offers abundant flavors of black cherry, tobacco, and cedar. Ready for drinking this year through 2028, this 64% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc was aged for 21 months in French Oak and was produced in a limited quantity of only 40 barrels.

Swirl and take a sip as you fly along with us through Blackbird Vineyards

"Illustration represents the core - the heart - of Blackbird Vineyards. Every element of Blackbird's multi-faceted wine portfolio draws inspiration from this singular, Pomerol-inspired Merlot. It is an undiluted illustration of the passion, time and concentration invested in creating elegant, multi-layered wines. Illustration challenges the notion that Cabernet Sauvignon is the only age-worthy red wine crafted in Napa Valley." 

Located in the Oak Knoll district of Napa Valley, the former walnut orchard, Blackbird VIneyards was purchased by Michael Polenske in 2003. It was first planted with 5,717 Merlot vines in 1997. Fun fact: The word Merlot is French patois for "little blackbird". The 1999 Selene Merlot Blackbird Vineyard designate created by Mia Klein Dalla Valle drew a lot of attention. Scored 90+ by Robert Parker, Stephen Tanzer, and Wine Spectator, this wine had no less than 95% of the Blackbird Vineyards fruit. In 2003, Blackbird began bottling and earned themselved 98 points by Vinfolio.
Since the release of the 2003 vintage, the Blackbird Vineyards' team has focused on handcrafting wines with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties. 

The Blackbird Estate Vineyard provides the foundation of fruit for the portfolio, but they also have long-term partnerships with hand-selected  premium vineyard sources throughout Napa Valley where growers are passionate about their approach to farming. Winemaker Aaron Pott, whom many of our DCWAF patrons are familiar with, was named "winemaker of the year" by Food & Wine magazine in 2012. 
Blackbird prides themselves on their specific practices to bring us these distinct wines. Renteria Vineyard Management and precision agriculture optimize the health of the vineyard. They practice sustainable farming and sometimes double and triple sort the fruit to guarantee the best. Using French oak barrels to create the profound tannin profile, they use different toasting levels for each cooper. They nurture each lot to produce the best blends from each vintage.

Posted on Thursday, August 13, 2015

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