Review by Robert Parker
The 2011 Prince of Hearts Paradise Hills Vineyard exhibits notes of charcoal, roasted herbs, sweet red and black currant fruit, and a medium – bodied, lighter than usual, but pleasant personality. It should be drunk over the next 5 – 7 years. The Blankiet Esta te 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, follow ed by Michel Rolland, Martha McCl ellan, 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 cuv ees 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 the ir 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.