Blankiet Paradise Hills Merlot 2001
Merlot from Napa Valley, California
The vineyards, known as Paradise Hills, are stunningly beautiful with gorgeous views of the valley. Our Merlot is planted on a deep layer of alluvial clay deposited by streams draining the mountain range high above.
Sustainable farming is practiced and the human hand is the connection between vines and wines.
International Wine Cellar - "Full, deep ruby-red. Very sexy, perfumed aromas of black raspberry, violet, mint, spices and tobacco. Broad, dry and suave; at once velvety and light on its feet. Bordeaux-like in its texture and inner-mouth verve. Coats the entire palate with flavor. Finishes very long and sweet, with a flavor of melted chocolate. A retaste of a bottle I sampled last year just after it was bottled."
The Wine Advocate - "The dark plum/purple-colored 2001 Merlot Paradise Hills Vineyard exhibits sweet aromas of cherry liqueur interwoven with mocha fudge. Firm, hard tannin in the finish closes the wine down on the palate. This is a structured, seriously-endowed Merlot meant for long term aging. The aromatics are a knock-out, but the flavors have yet to completely unfold, and while loaded as well as impressively endowed, the wine is tannic and backward. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2016."
Blankiet Estate was created in 1996 by Claude Blankiet and his wife, Katherine. It is located in the western hills of Yountville in Napa Valley. From 46 acres on the foothills of the Mayacamas range, 16 acres of vineyard have been developed by renowned viticulturist David Abreu. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc were planted on volcanic ash and fractured rock, and Merlot on the clay deposited by streams draining the mountain ridge above. Helen Turley was hired as winemaker and responsible for the first eight vintages. Then in 2006, Martha McClellan-Levy took over winemaking, assisted by oenologist, Michel Rolland from Pomerol.
Robert Parker validated the potential of Blankiet's terroir stating that the wines produced "combines the extraordinary power of the site with unbelievable elegance and definition." Future plans for the vineyard include planting of additional Cabernet Franc and a small amount of Petit Verdot. View all Blankiet Wines
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 lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost 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%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.