Review by Robert Parker
The serious 2012 Proprietary Red Paradise Hills Vineyard is composed of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and dollops of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. This wine tips the scales at 14.4% alcohol, not all that high in such a ripe year. Aromas of barbecue smoke, graphite, blackberries and crème de cassis are followed by a wine with silky tannins and a long, opulent, full-bodied finish. This terrific 2012 is surprisingly drinkable at an early age for a Blankiet wine. Enjoy it over the next 15-20 years. This fabulous small estate tucked in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains, behind the Dominus Napanook estate in Yountville, continues to turn out a bevy of brilliant wines from proprietors Claude and Katherine Blankiet.
As I wrote last year, they have had an amazing group of top wine consultants on their payroll, including viticulturist David Abreu, Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer, Michael Rolland, Martha McClellan, and currently, Denis Malbec. The owners’ only goal is to make world-class wines, and their tiny production of under 2,500 cases is mindboggling for the major effort they are making. In any event, it’s about quality, not quantity. The 2012s are beautifully forward, open-knit, ripe wines, and the 2013s look equally fleshy and beautiful, and perhaps, as a vintage, less backward than many 2013s may prove to be elsewhere.