Blackbird Vineyards "Illustration" Proprietary Red Wine 2011 (Napa Valley, California) - [WE 93] [AG 91] [ST 90(+?)]

Blackbird Vineyards "Illustration" Proprietary Red Wine 2011
(Napa Valley, California) - [WE 93] [AG 91] [ST 90

Regular price $125.00 Sale price $114.97 Save $10.03

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WE93 AG91 ST90(
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Notes from the Winemaker:

"The 2011 Illustration demonstrates elegant notes of cinnamon and black licorice, with opulent red fruit and iris aromas. The softly-structured mid-palate offers great density and abundant flavors of black cherry, tobacco and cedar. The finish is persistent in length with sophisticated tannins leading to a smooth mouth feel. Drinking well upon release, Illustration will age beautifully with time in the cellar. The cooler-than-normal 2011 Napa Valley grapegrowing season concluded in an expedited harvest. The outcome was a vintage with flavors developed at lower brix, resulting in truly elegant wines with European-style texture and great complexity." — Winemaker, Aaron Pott

Ratings & Reviews

93 Points - Wine Enthusiast Magazine:
"Based on Merlot, this Right Bank-style Bordeaux blend has rich, instantly likeable flavors of cherries, currants, cocoa, green olives and violets. New oak plays a prominent role, both in toasty flavors and in wood tannins. The wine feels softly tannic in the mouth, and will be fabulous now with a great steak, but it also will develop over the next 10–12 years." -S.H. (12/31/2013)

91 Points - Antonio Galloni's Vinous:
"Blackbird's Merlot-based 2011 Illustration is a juicy and expressive red. Cloves, dark red cherries, plums, menthol and licorice all blossom in a textured, inviting wine that is all about depth and resonance. The soft contours of Merlot inform the generous finish." -Antonio Galloni (November 2013)

90(+?) Points - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar:
"(75% merlot, 15% cabernet franc and 10% cabernet sauvignon; aged in 75% new French oak): Bright medium-deep red. Musky aromas of redcurrant, licorice and dark chocolate, plus a hint of herbs. Supple but nicely firm, with good inner-mouth tension to the flavors of plum, exotic spices and bitter chocolate. Contains a significantly higher percentage of merlot than the 2010 version, but the finish nonetheless shows very good structure and calls for a couple years of aging. All of these 2011 red wines spent 21 months in barrel prior to bottling." -Stephen Tanzer (May/Jun 14)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
"The 2011 Proprietary Red Illustration is a blend of 3/4 Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. It reveals slightly herbal coffee notes along with black cherry and black currant fruit. Cutting a deeper, broader swath across the palate than the Arise, it is relatively successful in this difficult vintage. Because of its faster evolutionary track, it should be consumed during its first 4-5 years of life." -Robert Parker (Oct 2013)

Wine Spectator Magazine:
"The deep black cherry and mineral flavors are framed by a grip of tannins, plus accents of cedar, spice and mint. Hands off for now. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2016 through 2020. 736 cases made." -TF (Web Only - 2014)