Blackbird Vineyards Illustration 2013
|Region||California, Napa Valley|
A more savory expression of Merlot emerges from the 2013 Illustration. Hudson and Stagecoach are the primary sources, which explains the wine's distinct ferrous personality. Smoke, leather, licorice and grilled herbs are some of the overtones that develop as this dark, large-scaled Merlot-based red shows off its explosive personality and breadth.
This is the producer's proprietary Merlot-driven blend, the variety comprising 60% of the whole, with 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Like its other blends, it spent 21 months in French oak, 75% of it new. Sanguine in currant and plum, its thick structure holds richer notes of chocolate and coconut. Drink now through 2023.
The 2013 Illustration Proprietary Red, 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, is a beauty. Dense ruby/purple, the wine offers up mocha, coffee bean, white chocolate, black cherry and blackcurrant fruit in a full-bodied, opulent, lusty style. Some light tannin in the finish gives the wine some grip, but this is a wine to drink now and over the next 10-12 years.