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October 201597 Blankiet's 2012 Proprietary Red Paradise Hills Vineyard is just starting to open up. The 2012 is delicate and totally sublime. Expressive Cabernet Sauvignon aromatics open up first, followed by layers of expressive red-fleshed fruit. Light on its it feet and exceptionally polished throughout, the 2012 delivers the goods, big time. In 2012, the Proprietary Red speaks to finesse above all else. This is the most impressive of Blankiet's 2012s today.
December 201595 The 2012 Proprietary Red, which is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest mostly Merlot with tiny quantities of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, is truly great stuff. Inky, almost murky purple-colored, the wine offers up notes of camphor, spring flowers, black raspberries, blackberries and cassis as well as hints of chocolate and coffee. It is full-bodied, multi-dimensional, exuberant, boisterous and super-complex already. This is a big, flashy, superb wine to drink now as well as over the next 20-25 years. It is hard to believe that Claude Blankiet’s first vintage was 1999. Of course, this is a fabulous vineyard that also looks marvelous from the famous Route 29. This is pure Yountville AVA on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains, just above the valley floor vineyard of Christian Moueix’s Dominus. Blankiet’s blends are made by Denis Malbec, who also works not too far away as the consultant for Kapcsandy. These wines often need time in bottle to show their character, and I thought the 2012s performed even better than they did from barrel. The 2013s look incredible as well. These may be Blankiet’s two greatest vintages to date, even eclipsing the 2001s and 2002s.
International Wine Cellar
May 201595+ (81% Cabernet Sauvignon): Deep red with ruby highlights. High-pitched perfume of black and red berries, licorice, violet, mocha and coffee. Began savory, minerally and dry but became more generous and pliant as it opened in the glass, showing lovely mid-palate weight and richness and complementary sweet oak. Most impressive today on the back end, which features powerful, late-arriving, fine-grained tannins and slowly building, inexorable length. I suspect that this wonderfully plush, silky wine will require seven or eight years in bottle to display the backbone that's currently hidden by baby fat, but it will also be accessible on the early side.