My friend Linda Walbridge, her daughter Lauren, and I decided to do some investigative tasting in Napa Valley, California in August. Our goal was to find three or four boutique wineries, unknown and unvisited by us and check out their wines. We love to blog about food and wine, so Linda and I wrote emails to several wineries asking if we could arrange a tasting for the three of us. We heard back from so many wineries that we had to postpone some for another time in the future.
Blackbird Vineyards was one of the wineries that Lauren was already a member, so that was a no-brainer. Neither Linda nor I had been there or tasted their wines, but it came highly recommended.
Approaching the tasting room we began to notice unusual art in the vineyard. Art such as a key and a hole, a ball and jacks, and other curiosities.
We were greeted by Matthew, a private client team leader, who would be our guide for the wine tastings. He led us to what appeared to be an old barn open at both ends and filled with contemporary art, furnishings, sculptures, and of course a huge farm table for us to taste the Blackbird wines.
We started our tasting with a 2014 Dissonance ($32), a Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. This was a beautiful, crisp wine of 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon. This is their newest member to the flock of wines.
Then we began the reds!
Notice the bottle of wine on the left. The blackbirds are strategically placed in rhythm to the words of the Beatles song, Blackbird. Click on the link to hear Paul McCartney sing the song live! One thing I loved about this place was the awesome music playing in the barn while we tasted the wines.
THE BESPOKE COLLECTION
2013 Arise ($54) is the hallmark of who they are-a right bank, Bordeaux inspired Merlot, blended with 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Cabernet Franc. You've got cherry and blackberry jumping out of the glass with some licorice lingering at the end. This vintage with be great for a long time, 2015-2025.
2013 Illustration Napa Valley Proprietary Red Wine ($135) is a wine meant to challenge the idea that Cabernet Sauvignon is the only worthy red wine crafted in Napa Valley. It is blended 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is said to be the most decadent of the Blackbird wines and I truly believe it. Illustration is drinkable until 2029. That's a long time to wait for this delicious wine!
2013 Paramour Napa Valley Proprietary Red Wine ($135) Another fine wine with a shelf life until 2029 is this classic-styled Cabernet Franc blend. 52% Cabernet Franc, 34% Merlot, and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon made this sensuous wine dance on my palate. One could tell the passion the grapes and the winegrower have for each other.
2013 Contrarian Napa Valley Proprietary Red Wine ($135) is the last of the three passion projects we tasted. This wine is said to be the most powerful of the three reds we tasted. It is blended perfectly with 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Cabernet Franc, and 32% Merlot. Age in your cellar until 2029 like the other reds above. I must say it was amazing!
All three of us were very pleased with our tastings at Blackbird Vineyards, and I couldn't get that song out of my head for days. I've been a Beatles fan almost all my life and now I am a Blackbird Vineyards fan!
One other surprise was in store for us. Lauren asked if we could taste the 2013 Blackmail Cabernet Sauvignon ($100) and of course Matthew said yes! She was blackmailed sometime ago!
Here's our empty bottle from dinner last night. Yummy!
I want to be blackmailed by Blackbird Vineyards!
Looking out one end of the barn and remembering our experiences here at Blackbird Vineyards!
To visit this vineyard and taste these limited-production wines, go to www.blackbirdvineyards.com to set up a tasting or call (707)252-4444.