Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
Wine.com - Buy wines, wine clubs, gift baskets and more
My Rating (circle) :
Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Blankiet Paradise Hills Merlot 2003
Blankiet Paradise Hills Merlot 2003
(search item no. 90881)
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $129.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2001 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

"The 2003 Merlot is better out of bottle than it was from cask. An explosively rich wine that ranks among the finest Merlots I have tasted from California in the last decade, it boasts an incredibly perfumed nose of espresso roast, mocha-infused chocolate, blackberry, cassis, cherry liqueur, and smoke. With an enormous texture, fabulous concentration, a packed-and-stacked mid-palate, and an explosive intense, ripe, long finish, this stunning wine is extraordinarily complex and savory. Anticipated maturity: now-2020. As I have written before, the only way readers are going to get any of this wine is to be on the mailing list or check out one of the few restaurants that receives an allocation. This is an amazing operation on the hillsides overlooking the huge Dominus/Napanook estate. A complex set of caves and a remarkable, nearly surreal chateau grace the property. Winemaker Helen Turley, working with her viticulturalist husband, John Wetlaufer, is fashioning some spectacular wines from these hillsides of volcanic ash and basalt. These are big, structured, potentially long-lived wines that will need some cellar time for those lucky enough to latch onto a few bottles. Everything to date has been aged in 100% new Taransaud barrels for 18-19 months and then bottled unfiltered." - Wine Advocate"
My Notes:

About Blankiet:

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.