Vinous Media 90 Points
"Dark red cherry, plums, tobacco, spices and leather are all laced together in the 2012 Arise, Blackbird's entry-level wine. Silky tannins wrap around the gracious, expressive finish. Merlot plays the leading role in an open, supple wine that showcases the house style very nicely."
Wine Enthusiast 90
"Made by Aaron Pott, this blend of 58% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon is minerally and herbaceous, aged almost two years in French oak, half of it new, the rest seasoned. Cassis, pomegranate and peppercorn dance to the fore, supported by weighty tannins."
Blackbird VineyardsView all from Blackbird Vineyards
Purchased by Michael Polenske in 2003, Blackbird Vineyards (a former walnut orchard first planted with 5, 717 Merlot vines in 1997) is now an ultra premium label in its own right. Fittingly, the word 'Merlot' is French patois for 'little blackbird.'
An early harbinger of Blackbird's potential arose when Mia Klein of Dalla Valle fame created a Blackbird Vineyard designate for her highly acclaimed 1999 Selene Merlot (no less than 95% of the fruit in the bottle must be from the named vineyard). Three of the top wine critics in the industry - Robert Parker, Stephen Tanzer, and Wine Spectator's James Laube - scored this wine in the 90s.