James Suckling 91
"So much dried flower, walnut and plum aromas with mineral undertones. Full body, silky tannins and a flavorful finish. A sweet tobacco and light powder chocolate undertone."
Wine Enthusiast 91
"This is a Merlot-dominant blend, with 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc blended in. It offers cooler-climate elements of dried herb, cedar and currant, with the tannins sleek and polished. The finish flirts with a taste of coconut. Drink now through 2021."
Connoisseurs' Guide 91
"55% Merlot; 30% Cabernet Sauvignon; 15% Cabernet Franc. It is no knock against this wine that its central character is a bit oriented to the ripe plum side of things and that its structure is that much more blunt in feel than its mate above. This wine will also age well, and, in the near term, the differences between the two are less today than they seem likely to become over time. Give this one four to six years. "
Vinous Media 90
"The Merlot-based 2013 Arise, Blackbird's entry-level wine, is dark, voluptuous and juicy. Dark red and blue fruit , violets, lavender and spices round out the succulent, open-knit finish."
" The 2013 Arise exudes aromas of black currant, iris, and nutmeg. With flavors of licorice, cherry and fig, this wine has a richly layered mid palate with soft texture, good density and a long, lingering finish. Winemaker Aaron Pott describes the 2013 Arise as the best vintage of Arise yet.
Blend: 55% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon" ~ Winery notes
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.