2012 Blackbird Vineyards Illustration Proprietary Red

Year: 2012
Appellation: Napa Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 89
Wine Advocate: 91
Vinous Media: 92
James Suckling: 90
Wine Enthusiast: 93
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.7%
Price :

64% Merlot - 34% Cabernet Franc - 2% Cabernet Sauvignon

"Firm and focused, with aromas of currant and mineral and dense layers of blackberry, green olive and cedar. The tannins are tightly wound. Hands off for now. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2017 through 2022. 840 cases made. –TF" (WS)

"A Merlot-dominated cuvée (75%-80% Merlot), the 2012 Proprietary Red Illustration is a sexy, chocolaty style of wine offering notes of ink, kirsch and black fruits. Lush, medium-bodied, deep, sensual and hedonistic, it can be drunk over the next 7-8 years.

These are attractive blends made from Bordeaux varietals and aged in 70% new oak." (WA)

"The 2012 Illustration, Blackbird's Merlot-based blend, brings together power and silkiness with unusual grace. Drink this supple, racy red over the next handful of years, while the flavors remain juicy and vibrant." (VM)

"A solid red with plum, mahogany, and chocolate character. Medium to full body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. A blend of 64% merlot, 34% cabernet franc, and 2% cabernet sauvignon. Drink now." (JS)

"This blend combines 64% Merlot with 34% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon to nice effect, offering cranberry and red, juicy plum around softly cradled tannins and well-resolved oak. Juicy, structured and fully balanced, the finish sparks elements of leather with tobacco. — V.B. (8/1/2015)" (WE)

Winery Notes:
The 2012 Illustration demonstrates elegant notes of expresso and black licorice, with opulent red fruit and lavender 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 mouthfeel. Drinking well upon release, Illustration will age beautifully with time in the cellar. With no frost, a mild spring and summer, and a peaceful fall, the Illustration benefited from what some say was an ideal growing season.

Illustration represents the core – the heart – of Blackbird Vineyards. Every element of Blackbird’s multi-faceted wine portfolio draws inspiration from this singular, Pomerol-inspired Merlot. It is an undiluted illustration of the passion, time and concentration invested in creating elegant, multi-layered wines. Illustration challenges the notion that Cabernet Sauvignon is the only age-worthy red wine crafted in Napa Valley.