Wine Enthusiast 92
This blends 38% Merlot with 32% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc. Together these find a healthy companionship of wood, cedar, currant and dried herb, allowing the two Cabernets to speak loudest. Lightly spicy nutmeg and clove linger around well-defined layers of cherry and vanilla.
James Suckling 91
Aromas of plums, earth and spices follow through to a full body and tight and firm tannins. Structured and powerful. Needs a few year to soften. Better in 2020.
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.