Blackbird Vineyards Contrarian Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2010
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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Wine Style Guide
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
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
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%.
The 2010 Contrarian opens with expressive notes of leather, truffle, succulent currant and lavender. On the palate, flavors of black fruit complement layers of intricately structured, fine-grained tannins that hold great density and weight. The lush mid-palate leads to a polished, supple and harmoniously-precise finish. This wine is gratifying now and
will age gloriously with time in the cellar. Blackbird's 2010 vintage wines showcase grapes farmed from a lower-yielding harvest that produced lithe wines with European-style texture and pronounced complexity.
"So soft and dense in richness, this is easy to enjoy now. But you really want to restrain that impulse and give it some time in the cellar. Blended from roughly equal parts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, it’s dry and tannic, but with a molten core of blackberries, cherries, blueberries, anise and sweet new oak. Very fine, very elaborate and complex. Give it 5–6 years, at least. This wine could still be unfolding in 2020."
"A blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot, the 2010 Proprietary Red Contrarian is a beauty of purity, symmetry, harmony and pure Napa fruit. Abundant notes of blue and black fruits, sweet tannin, and enough acidity for delineation and freshness result in a stunningly impressive wine to drink over the next 10-12 years."
The Wine Advocate
"Bright medium ruby. Tighter and higher-pitched on the nose than the Illustration, offering notes of black cherry, cassis, blackberry, violet, licorice and crushed stone. Densely packed and sharply delineated but still pliant, with a youthfully medicinal quality, harmonious acidity and a cabernet franc violet perfume combining to energize the mid-palate. Intensely flavored and very long, finishing with serious fine-grained tannins and outstanding grip and lift.
Score: 93+ Points"
International Wine Cellar
"A graceful, elegant mix of black cherry, plum, mineral and loamy earth, ending with a subtle but persistent finish and lingering flavors. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot."
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Learn About Blackbird Vineyards Map 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.')
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