Blackbird Vineyards Illustration 750ML
Blackbird Vineyards the Illustration demonstrates elegant notes of mocha and toffee with opulent red fruit and iris aromas. The well balanced mid-palate offers great density and abundant flavors of cocoa, butterscotch and stone fruit. The finish is persis- tent in length with sophisticated tannins leading to a smooth mouth feel. Drinking well upon release, Illustration will age beautifully with time in the cellar. Blackbird's vintage wines showcase grapes farmed from a lower- yielding harvest that produced supple wines with European-style texture and pronounced complexity.
There’s something enormously satisfying about this Merlot-based blend. It hits the Napa-Bordeaux sweet spot, with concentrated blackberry and cherry fruit, jacketed in sweet, smoky oak. But there’s also a fascinating olive character. The tannins are rich and dense and velvety. Great to experience now, and should be one for the long haul, perhaps through 2022.
Score: 94. —Steve Heimoff, August 31, 2013.
Tightly focused and well-built, with aromas of cherry, blueberry and black olive, offering firm flavors of loamy mineral, cedar and currant that finish with firm tannins. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2015 through 2021. 548 cases made.
Score: 91. —Tim Fish, November 30, 2013.
The 2010 Proprietary Red Illustration is composed of 48% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 22% Cabernet Sauvignon. Its color is similar to the Arise, perhaps slightly more opaque, and the nose offers plenty of sweet cassis, blueberry, camphor and floral notes. Fleshy and pure as well as loaded with fruit and character, this is another beautifully balanced, seamless effort that should drink beautifully for 10-15 years – if you can resist it for that long.
Score: 91. —Robert Parker, October 2013.