To celebrate the 12th day of Christmas, and the NFL Playoffs, I opened a great Right Bank Bordeaux blend from California last night. The 2009 Blackbird Vineyard’s “Arise” Proprietary Red Wine from Napa Valley is made of 53% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 22% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Aged in French oak for 21 months, this lovely wine offers blackberry, some fun cola and a little smokiness on the nose. On the palate are plum, cassis, the cola, chocolate and lots of dark fruit. The finish is fabulously long with some wonderful spicy oak. This dry wine has nice sweet tannins, which makes it very drinkable now. I do, however, plan to get a few more bottles to tuck safely into my cellar to enjoy three or four years from now.
Blackbird Vineyard’s winemaker is Aaron Pott, who began his winemaking career at Newton Vineyard in Napa. He then went abroad where he was the winemaker for Chateau Troplong Mondot and Chateau Las Tour Figeac, both highly respected entities in St. Emilion. He was recently named the 2012 Winemaker of the Year by Food & Wine Magazine.
Another fun fact is the winery’s name. When Blackbird’s owner, Michael Polenske, was searching Napa for a nice house with a pool on a hill, he instead fell in love with a nice house with a pool surrounded by a vineyard. This vineyard was already producing beautiful Merlot fruit being used in world-class wines. Merlot means young or little blackbird in French patois!
With the help of his team, Polenske has turned his property into a successful winery with some terrific wines. If you’re a fan of Right Bank Bordeaux, as I am, be sure to check out the wines of Blackbird Vineyard!