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2011 Blackbird - Illustration

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / NAPA
  • 87 WA
  • 86 WS
  • 90 IWC
  • Variety
    Proprietary Blend
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SKU: 180604-2011-750-3A
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 90

    (75% merlot, 15% cabernet franc and 10% cabernet sauvignon; aged in 75% new French oak): Bright medium-deep red. Musky aromas of redcurrant, licorice and dark chocolate, plus a hint of herbs. Supple but nicely firm, with good inner-mouth tension to the flavors of plum, exotic spices and bitter chocolate. Contains a significantly higher percentage of merlot than the 2010 version, but the finish nonetheless shows very good structure and calls for a couple years of aging. All of these 2011 red wines spent 21 months in barrel prior to bottling.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 2014
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 87

    The 2011 Proprietary Red Illustration is a blend of 3/4 Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. It reveals slightly herbal coffee notes along with black cherry and black currant fruit. Cutting a deeper, broader swath across the palate than the Arise, it is relatively successful in this difficult vintage. Because of its faster evolutionary track, it should be consumed during its first 4-5 years of life.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 86

    The deep black cherry and mineral flavors are framed by a grip of tannins, plus accents of cedar, spice and mint. Hands off for now. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2016 through 2020. 736 cases made.
    Author: Tim Fish
  • Self | Rating: 91

    Author: Randy
With the designation of Napa's fourteenth AVA in 2004, Oak Knoll District is now poised to bring forth the prominence and elegance of Merlot from this region. Perched to seize the day as Oak Knoll's foremost Merlot is Blackbird Vineyards, located in the heart of the district.

Since 1999, this former walnut orchard, first planted with 5717 vines two years earlier, has quietly provided fruit to many of Napa's finest winemakers, for whom it has yielded astonishing reviews and stellar scorings. Purchased by entrepreneur Michael Polenske in 2003, Blackbird Vineyards is now an ultra premium label in its own right.

California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 48 bottles owned
  • 17 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 91
    (Out of 17 collectors)