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Review by Robert M. Parker Jr. Rating: (99p)
Blankiet again hit a home run with his 2013 Rive Droite, which is 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc. There are only 300 cases of this, but it is another Petrus lookalike in Napa Valley (which is interesting, given that the next door vineyard is the Moueix-owned Dominus). Offering deep, dense, chocolaty notes with mocha, toffee, black cherry liqueur and even darker berry fruit, this is a wine of phenomenal intensity, with multi- dimensional mouthfeel and a finish of close to a minute. It is as close to perfection as a wine can get, and may eventually hit that three-digit score with another 1-2 years of bottle age. If you can find it, don’t miss it! It should drink well for 25-30+ years. 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 – 2046
Our true Bordeaux Right Bank wine. Merlot with a touch of Cabernet Franc. This wine is gorgeously fruit forward with a core of minerality.
Great wine comes from great grapes. We take extra care in preserving the flavors of the fruit during our winemaking process. Each pick is fermented separately in small custom made stainless steel tanks.
The underground aging caves are vibration free, cooled to 54 degrees and 95% humidity with constant air movement. Some of the wine evaporates allowing a metered amount of oxygen to penetrate the oak barrels. This controlled breathing is essential for the chemical transformation occurring during barrel maturation when tannins, alcohols, acids and esters further interact to create more complex aromas and flavors. A couple of years later the wine is bottled on location without any filtration or fining.
Paradise Hills Vineyard is located on the western foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains above Yountville in the cooler part of the Napa Valley. Grapes planted in this area take longer to mature on the vine allowing for riper tannins, darker pigmentation and deeply perfumed fruit. The vineyards are east and southeast facing, ideal for maximizing photosynthesis with intense morning sun and natural protection from the hot afternoon rays.