Blackbird Vineyards Contrarian Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2016 Front Label
Blackbird Vineyards Contrarian Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2016 Front LabelBlackbird Vineyards Contrarian Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2016  Front Bottle Shot

Blackbird Vineyards Contrarian Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2016

  • W&S94
  • RP93
  • JS93
  • WW93
  • CG91
750ML / 14.1% ABV
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  • RP93
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750ML / 14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 94
Wine & Spirits

Though Blackbird’s original wine was a merlotfocused blend, current winemaker Aaron Pott takes Contrarian in a savory, less voluptuous direction. The wine is grounded by cabernet sauvignon, with a contribution from Ballard Vineyard on Spring Mountain that lends it stature and breed, as well as mineral-inflected tannins that carry the smokiness of rock striking rock. The wine’s blackberry juiciness and black-olive savor gain depth and detail with air, the flavors glimmering like cool water in a well. It has an old-fashioned sense of Napa Valley, before the wines got fancy. Decant it for Mediterranean lamb.

RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Blended of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Cabernet Franc and 7% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Contrarian Proprietary Red reveals notes of crushed black and red currants, black cherries and red plums with touches of red roses, black tea, tilled soil and tobacco. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers intense red and black fruit layers with plenty of earthy sparks and a grainy frame, finishing long and refreshing.
JS 93
James Suckling
A juicy and rich red with lots of fruit and polished yet fine tannins. Medium to full body and tight, focused fruit. Delicious now. Why wait? A blend of 64 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 29 per cent cabernet franc and seven per cent merlot.
WW 93
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: Hmm, when I first tasted the Blackbird Contrarian, I thought the winery must be trying to go against the tide. What tide? There are so many storylines in the wine business. Though I have tasted and enjoyed previous vintages, the 2016 vintage was the first time I understood this wine. I got an upfront and close look at this wine, and realize that balance was its reason to be. TASTING NOTES: This wine is immense, yet it stays balanced and superbly structured. Its stylish aromas and delightful flavors of black fruit and oak accents are wrapped nicely together. Instead of producing an overpowering wine, the winery looked to build a stylish and balanced effort. Pair this wine with a crown roast of lamb and enjoy a proper meal. (Tasted: July 8, 2019, San Francisco, CA)
CG 91
Connoisseurs' Guide

64% Cabernet Sauvignon; 29% Cabernet Franc; 7% Merlot. Not a wine of great power or bombast, but one that exhibits a good deal of finesse, the latest Blackbird Contrarion is a very mannerly, well-polished working that, with each sniff and sip, shows more richness and range as suggestions of sweet oak, fresh loam and dried herbs emerge as complexing complements to its concentrated, ripe currant fruit. Its finish is framed by firm, hard-to-ignore tannins just now, but increasing refinement and a long life appear to be in store here provided one is willing to forego hasty drinking.

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Blackbird Vineyards

Blackbird Vineyards

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Blackbird Vineyards, California
Blackbird Vineyards  Winery Video

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.

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Napa Valley

Red Wine

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Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.

Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.

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STC542678_2016 Item# 522193

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