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.

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Blackbird Vineyards 'Arise' Proprietary Red 2014
92  Wine Enthusiast 
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
Item Number: 31526
Case: $239.70

Blackbird Vineyards 'Arise' Proprietary Red 2013
91  James Suckling 
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

Blackbird Vineyards Arise 2012
90  Vinous Media 
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

Blackbird Vyds 'Illustration' Proprietary Red 2009
93  International Wine Cellar 
International Wine Cellar 93  "Bright ruby-red. Sexy, vibrant aromas of black cherry, dark raspberry, cassis, chocolate and licorice. Densely packed and sharply delineated, boasting excellent intensity to its cherry, currant, spice and licorice flavors. Richer than the Arise, but without any