Wine Advocate # 162 (Dec. 2005) Review of 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paradise Hills Vineyard

Blankiet Estate Proprietary Red

Review by Robert Parker

Rating: (95+)

There are just over 1000 cases of the Cabernet Sauvignon, which is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the hillsides of the Blankiet Estate. The 2003, showing an almost “liqueur of rocks” character, is a huge, gigantic Cabernet Sauvignon that is intense purple in color, very full-bodied, with notes of coffee, graphite, blackberry, blueberry, and cassis. The striking minerality comes forth in the flavors as well, and the wine reveals refined, but high tannins, a massive texture, and awesome concentration. Give this wine 4-5 years of bottle age and drink it over the following 30 years. It is a stunning Cabernet Sauvignon that is showing even better out of bottle that it did from barrel.

As I have written before, the only way readers are going to get any of this wine is to be on the mailing list or check out one of the few restaurants that receives an allocation.

This is an amazing operation on the hillsides overlooking the huge Dominus/Napanook estate. A complex set of caves and a remarkable, nearly surreal chateau grace the property. Winemaker Helen Turley, working with her viticulturalist husband, John Wetlaufer, is fashioning some spectacular wines from these hillsides of volcanic ash and basalt. These are big, structured, potentially long-lived wines that will need some cellar time for those lucky enough to latch onto a few bottles. Everything to date has been aged in 100% new Taransaud barrels for 18-19 months and then bottled unfiltered.


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