Blackbird Vineyards Illustration Proprietary Red 2008

Red Blends from Napa Valley, California

$89.00 $69.99
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The 2011 vintage is available for: $115.00
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Item No. 110763
  • red wine
  • collectible wine
  • boutique wine
  • WE93
  • RP90
Style: Smooth & Supple

Wine Style Guide

Light & Fruity

Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.

Smooth & Supple

Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.

Earthy & Spicy

Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.

Big & Bold

Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.

Alcohol By Volume: 14.5%

Alcohol By Volume Guide

  • 10%
  • 16+%
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Ratings Pedigree:

Winemaker's Notes

The 2008 Illustration offers intense aromatics of blackberry, black licorice, and dark chocolate. The rich and balanced mid-palate is rounded out with plush flavors of cherry, toffee, and cocoa powder. The finish possesses good length with dense, velvety tannins leading to a succulent tiramisu finish. Illustration is optimal to drink after decanting or can be laid down to develop further with time in the bottle. Blackbird's 2008 vintage wines offer incredible elegance and fruit concentration imparted by the low-yielding, high-quality Napa Valley growing season.

Illustration represents the core – the heart – of Blackbird Vineyards. Every element of Blackbird's multi-faceted wine portfolio draws inspiration from this singular, Pomerol-inspired Merlot. It is an undiluted illustration of the passion, time and concentration invested in creating elegant, multi-layered wines. Illustration challenges the notion that Cabernet Sauvignon is the only age-worthy red wine crafted in the Napa Valley.

Critical Acclaim

"Lush. smooth and complex, this Merlot-based blend seems capable of a little development in the cellar. It's pretty tannic, although the cherry fruit is sweet and bright. Try holding for a year or two, but if you pop the cork now, give the wine a few hours of decanting."
93 Points

"The 2008 Illustration, which tends to be mostly Merlot blended with small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, possesses a dark ruby/purple color as well as big, sweet aromas of mocha, coffee bean, black cherries and spice box. Fleshy and medium to full-bodied, it has slightly more tannin and structure than the 2008 Arise. This is a project of up-and-coming wine consultants, Aaron Pott and Sara Gott. The goal is to produce Right Bank Bordeaux-styled wines from various blends. As I wrote last year in issue #186, I thought the 2006s and 2007s were strong offerings, and the four outstanding efforts in 2008 are better than the 2006s, but not quite as good as the 2007s because they are less opulent and exuberant. Nevertheless, they are rich, expressive wines made from fruit grown in the Oak Knoll region of the southern Napa Valley. "
90 Points

Learn About Blackbird Vineyards Map ItMap It

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. (Fittingly, 'Merlot' is French patois for 'Little Blackbird.')

Learn About Napa Valley

It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard...

Read More About Napa Valley

Learn About Other Red Blends

Other Red Red wines are certainly not limited to Cabernet and Pinot Noir - or even Nebbiolo and Grenache. There are a multitude of grape varieties throughout the world, however, in a Darwinian sense, survival of the fittest only brings us wines made from grapes that can adapt to changing climates and winemaking techniques. Notable Facts Our other red wines primarily consists of...

Read More About Other Red Blends

Related Products
Critical Acclaim "Still immense, one of the biggest and most vibrant of the vintage, with layers of rich black cherry, ...
The 2011 Illustration demonstrates elegant notes of cinnamon and black licorice, with opulent red fruit and iris aromas. The softly ...
Arise is the most aspiring wine in the Blackbird Vineyards repertoire. Harvested, vinified, and barrel aged with an identical commitment ...
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