2012 Blankiet Estate Rive Droite, Paradise Hills Vineyard

Rive Droite

Our true Bordeaux Right Bank wine. Merlot with a touch of Cabernet Franc. This wine is gorgeously fruit forward with a core of minerality.


  • Vinous (May 2024)

    Review by Antonio Galloni

    Rating: (98)

    Drinking window: 2022 – 2037

    The 2012 Rive Droite Paradise Hills Vineyard is classy and elegant, with the soft contours of Merlot driving the the overall feel. A wine of nearly indescribable finesse, the 2012 is simply exquisite. Silky, aromatic and utterly brilliant, the 2012 possesses terrific energy and vibrancy to match its understated, mid-weight personality. The 2012 is still quite fresh. Readers lucky enough to own it can look forward to another decade of exceptional drinking. Today the 2012 is quite delicate, almost Pinot like, in its nobility.

    — Antonio Galloni, May 2024

    Deep layers of spices, black cherries, plums, menthol and licorice meld together in the 2012 Rive Droite Paradise Hills Vineyard. Rich, layered and deeply resonant, the 2012 impresses for its voluptuous, sexy personality. Mocha, espresso and grilled herbs all flow through to the finish. Cabernet Franc plays just a minor role in the blend, but its personality comes through loud and clear, especially in the aromatics. The 2012 is 96% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. This is a fabulous showing from Blankiet. (95-97+ pts)

    — Antonio Galloni, November 2013

    Grapes Variety: 96% Merlot/4% Cabernet Franc

    Producer commentary

    Claude and Katherine Blankiet spared no expense in making the best 2011s possible, and the results bear that out. Readers might enjoy this video, which was shot during the 2011 harvest. Among the 2011s, I can’t ignore the entry-level Prince of Hearts, which is one of the best Napa Valley wines in its price range. Overall, the 2011s are delicate, perfumed and impeccably balanced. The 2012s are also fabulous – readers may wish to watch videos from the archive of the 2012 harvest and a tasting of the 2012s shortly after bottling (http://vinousmedia.com/multimedia/blankiet-with-claude-blankiet-and-denis-malbec-jun-2013). Blankiet fans will note a new wine, the 100% Cabernet Sauvignon Mythicus, which may become a permanent addition. I also had a chance to taste a few 2013s from tank. The transformation that has taken place at Blankiet over the last few years under the direction of Denis and May-Britt Malbec is remarkable.

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  • eRobertParker.com # 222 (Dec 2015)

    Review by Robert M. Parker Jr.

    Rating: (99)

    Another compelling wine was the 2012 Rive Droite, which is Blankiet’s homage to Right Bank Pomerols from Bordeaux. A blend of 95.8% Merlot and 4.2% Cabernet Franc, there are 380 cases of this sexpot of a wine. This could easily be mistaken for a Napa Valley version of Petrus. Loads of mulberry fruit, licorice, crème de cassis, mocha and toffee are present in this huge, full-bodied, super-opulent and luscious wine. This is about as seductive and rich as dry wine can be, and the wine can be drunk now or cellared for another 15-20 years. This is a killer effort! Their cuvée of all the culled out lots is called the Prince of Hearts. It is hard to believe that Claude Blankiet’s first vintage was 1999. Of course, this is a fabulous vineyard that also looks marvelous from the famous Route 29. This is pure Yountville AVA on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains, just above the valley floor vineyard of Christian Moueix’s Dominus. Blankiet’s blends are made by Denis Malbec, who also works not too far away as the consultant for Kapcsandy. These wines often need time in bottle to show their character, and I thought the 2012s performed even better than they did from barrel. The 2013s look incredible as well. These may be Blankiet’s two greatest vintages to date, even eclipsing the 2001s and 2002s.


    Drink 2016 – 2036


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  • Wine Advocate # 209 (Oct. 2013)

    Review by Robert Parker

    Rating: (96-99)

    Drink 2013 – 2033

    The 2012 Rive Droite Paradise Hills Vineyard is composed of 92.2% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. Production was almost twice as high in 2012 (380 cases) than it was in 2009. Terrific stuff, it displays stunning aromas of coffee beans, smoky barbecued meats, and sweet kirsch, mulberries and blac k currants, a sensational, unctuously textured mouthfeel, full body and a stunning finish of nearly 50 seconds. This sexy, full throttle, exuberant, All – American Merlot came in at 14.8% natural alcohol. It should age effortlessly for 20+ years. The Blankie t Estate 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, followed by Michel Rolland, Martha Mc Cl 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 ot her cuvees 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 w ith their 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.

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