Blackbird Vineyards Paramour Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2010
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
The 2010 Paramour offers exquisite aromas of blackberry, blueberry and mint. This authentic expression of Cabernet Franc showcases layers of chocolate and nutmeg and combines with fine-grained tannin and cedar overlay. The supple finish is round and balanced, providing persistent length of flavor. Paramour will continue to develop with time in the bottle for the next decade or more.
Wine Enthusiast - "The soft voluptuousness of this Cabernet Franc-based Bordeaux blend is its most evident feature. It has plenty of staunch tannins, but they’re as finely woven as a silk tapestry, while the flavors are dazzling, suggesting black cherries, red currants and hints of dark chocolate and anise. Kudos to winemaker Aaron Pott for this remarkable blend from all around the valley. "
Wine Spectator - "Subtle black cherry, black licorice and floral scents extend onto the palate. Elegant, graceful, deftly balanced young wine that retains focus and persistence. Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon."
International Wine Cellar - "good bright medium ruby. Brooding aromas of black fruits, dark chocolate, roast coffee and menthol, with a hint of violet and a strong element of chocolatey oak. Then plush and deep but youthfully unevolved, with blueberry and licorice flavors complicated by a faint leafy quality. This very rich wine opened beautifully in the glass to show building sweetness. The broad, serious tannins saturate the entire palate on the very long aftertaste.
Score: 92+ Points"
The Wine Advocate - "The dense purple-colored 2010 Proprietary Red Paramour (41% Cabernet Franc, 36% Merlot and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon) is slightly more restrained aromatically, displaying blueberry, blackberry and cassis fruit, a full-bodied, fleshy, voluptuous character, and plenty of richness. However, it appears less evolved than the Arise or Illustration. Give it another 1-2 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 10-12 years.
Score: 90+ Points"
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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.') View all Blackbird Vineyards Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
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 & 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.