When walking on the well-manicured vineyards belonging to Claude and Katherine Blankiet while listening to their passionate description about the terroir of the Blankiet Estate, one cannot help but conclude that this winery truly is one of the top estates in Napa Valley.
The couple established a 16-acre Blankiet Paradise Hills in 1996 after finding a dream spot just behind Dominus Estate in Yountville, in the steep foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains. They followed the pattern that some of the top wine estates had used and asked the most famous viticulturist in Napa Valley, David Abreu, to develop the vineyards, while superstar winemaker Helen Turley was hired to make the wines. The recipe worked well. Abreu planted the vineyards with different four varietals and specific clones according to the different microclimates that he discovered on the property. The alluvial clay sites were planted with Merlot, while the volcanic and rocky parts were chosen to host Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
The perfectly manicured vines are cultivated using sustainable farming and focusing on protecting the grapes from excess heat and sunlight. In order to achieve this, the Blankiets’ use an extensive misting system and shade cloth strips protecting the fruiting zone of the south and western rows of the vineyards.
“As much I love the sun of Napa Valley and the ripeness our climate is capable of producing, we sometimes need to protect the vibrancy and freshness of the fruit. Power and elegance is what defines our wines,” Claude Blankiet explains.
The first seven vintages of Blankiet Estate wines were made by Helen Turley. After her, respected oenologist Martha McClellan Levy became in charge. She was assisted by the famous wine consultant Michel Rolland, who was hired to create the flagship blends of Blankiet Estate. He introduced the practice of fermenting each micro harvest individually and aging each lot separately for one year before blending them.
Following Rolland’s recommendation, starting with the 2006 vintage Blankiet released two flagship wines: The Estate Proprietary Red Wine is a blend of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The Rive Droite proprietary Red is a Saint Emilion or Pomerol style wine is based on the finest barrels selection of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
The oenologist behind Blankiet wines for the past three years is Denis Malbec, former Château Latour cellar master.
“After twenty years we are still learning and discovering the intricacy of our vineyard. It is a complex site but the vines have matured, and we know where the sweet spots are located. We are confident that we are finally harnessing the full potential of the estate," Claude Blankiet says.
Blankiet Estate has been the pioneer in the USA in providing collectors the best method to authenticate their purchases. For the past seven vintages, we have applied a special seal called a Bubble Tag™ to each of our flagship bottles guarantying their origin and integrity. Thanks to this seal, consumers are able online via internet or via mobile smart phone to access detailed information concerning the bottle, the vintage and its ratings from Robert Parker.