Actual bottle from our inventory is pictured. These bottles are in excellent condition, from their original case and all fills are into the neck. All bottles are as good or better than the bottle pictured. To see other wines currently available from this producer, please click the link with the name of this producer underlined above, just to the right of "Producer."
October 201398 One of the finest Merlot-based wines in all of California, the 2009 Rive Droite Paradise Hills Vineyard is a blend of 79.8% Merlot, 11.8% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon. Unfortunately, there are only 200 cases compared to 510 cases of the 2009 Proprietary Red. It finished at 15.2% alcohol, and reminded me of the pre-1975 vintages of Petrus. Robust and full-bodied with abundant notes of kirsch, mocha, mulberry and plum fruit intertwined with grilled meat and charcuterie, new saddle leather and fudge characteristics. This superb, opulent, voluptuously textured 2009 can be drunk now or cellared for 20-25 years. The Blankiet Estate owned by Claude and Katherine Blankiet is beautifully situated on the lower hillsides of the Mayacamas Mountains, just behind the large Napanook estate of Dominus. An enviable group of talented people have provided assistance here, beginning with David Abreu, Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer, followed by Michel Rolland, Martha McLellan, and more recently Denis Malbec. Production remains between 1,800 and 2,500 cases with nearly half of that devoted to their second wine, the Prince of Hearts. The other cuvees include the Proprietary Red (Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated) and the Rive Droite (a Pomerol / St.-Emilion look-a-like wine), and in 2012, they added a tiny, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon cuvee called Mythicus. I could be wrong, but it seems to me these wines, which performed very well, and are among the finest of the so-called “cult” wines of Napa Valley, remain under-the-radar. Perhaps that is due to the small production. The 2009s are all stunning. In the challenging 2011 vintage, the Blankiets along with their winemaker Denis Malbec have fashioned very good examples, although they are much lighter and less concentrated and authoritative than the top vintages. The 2012s are among the finest wines Blankiet has yet made.
December 201296 Blankiet's 2009 Rive Droite Paradise Hills Vineyard is another rich, bombastic wine. There is plenty of depth in the glass as layers of dark fruit, tobacco, smoke, plums and cloves flesh out over time. Here, too, the French oak is a bit overpowering. The 2009 Rive Droite is outstanding, but in time it will be viewed as a transitional wine in the estate's history. The 2009 Rive Droite is 80% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon.
International Wine Cellar
May 201295 (79.8% merlot, 11.8% cabernet franc and 8.4% cabernet sauvignon): Good bright ruby-red. Perfumed nose offers currant, cherry, cocoa powder, brown spices and rose petal. Concentrated, broad and perfumed, with lovely inner-mouth energy and lift. The slow-building, impressively long finish features serious structure and extremely suave tannins that are a bit more refined than those of the young 2010. A beautiful California merlot.