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Blackbird Vineyards Arise Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2006

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • CG93
  • RP91
  • WS91
14.7% ABV
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  • CG93
  • WE92
  • JS91
  • JS91
  • WE91
  • CG91
  • WS90
  • WE90
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  • CG90
  • WE94
  • TP91
  • RP91
  • WE93
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  • WS91
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Try the 2014 Vintage 52 99
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14.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Saturated with rich, vibrant color, the generous nose exudes tantalizing aromas of Bing cherry, cassis and cola. Upon entry, profuse flavors of raspberries, plum and baking spices intertwine with fine-grained tannins to create a supple, chewy middle palate. The complex range of flavors in this expansive wine are heightened by its smooth, velvety texture and its long, lingering finish.

Critical Acclaim

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CG 93
Connoisseurs' Guide
Both deeper in fruit and far more complex than the mainstream Merlot model predicts, this stunning effort is rife with perfectly ripe cherries and shows layers of rich oak, sweet loam and hints of cola throughout its considerable length. Its integral spine of fine-grained tannins guarantee that it will grow over four to six years, and its scant edge of stiffening, last-minute acid is but a minor distraction when measured against the richness that has gone before and the wine's future.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 Arise (100% Merlot) possesses the most chocolate, cocoa, and charcoal notes along with lots of berry fruit, silky tannins, a lovely, medium to full-bodied, lush texture, and irresistible charm and appeal.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Dense and racy, with blackberry and spicy espresso aromas that lead to complex, layered currant, mocha and toasty sage flavors. Tannins firm up the finish.
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Blackbird Vineyards

Blackbird Vineyards

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Blackbird Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
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Blackbird was founded in 2003 with the goal of handcrafting truly expressive wines from the Napa Valley, focusing on Bordeaux varieties. Our wines are an expression of the dynamic terroir of Napa Valley. Only 30 miles long and five miles wide, Napa Valley offers a stunning diversity of soils, climate, and topographical conditions suitable for growing world-class wine grapes. With vigneron Aaron Pott’s guidance, Blackbird’s approach to production relies on multi-sourced vineyards and varieties, allowing for a harmonious whole, greater than the sum of its parts.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

MRE121831_2006 Item# 121831