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.
"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
"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.
The Wine Advocate