2011 Blackbird “Paramour” Red Wine


2011 Blackbird “Paramour” Red Wine

$125 (retail) Wine Club pricing reflected in receipt

Reflecting a common theme seen elsewhere in this month’s Wine Club selections (Double Canyon), Blackbird is one of three brands owned by the parent, Bespoke Collection, which also operates Ma(i)sonry in Napa and Recuerdo Wines in Mendoza, Argentina.

Blackbird is produced by a trio of very interesting fellows:  Michael Polenske is the money man, with a rich background in financial investment and management including stints with American Express Financial, J.P. Morgan and as CEO of Chase Manhattan N.A.  Handling the heavy lifting for marketing and sales is a Duckhorn veteran Paul Leary.  And, perhaps most importantly, Aaron Pott is winemaker.

Pott has a formidable pedigree, starting with enology training at UCD and a master’s in viticulture from the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, France (the first I’ve encountered in 13 years of writing tasting notes).  He was mentored by luminaries John Kongsgaard and Michel Rolland.  He’s worked at two chateaus in France; Beringer Wine Estate; and as winemaker and general manager at Quintessa.  Currently, he operates his own consultancy and his own brand.  And. . .Food & Wine magazine named him “Winemaker of the Year” in 2012.

This stuff better be good!

Winery Tasting Notes:  “Exquisite aromas of blackberry, blueberry and tobacco. This authentic expression of cabernet franc showcases textured layers of chocolate and nutmeg, combined with fine-grained tannin and cedar overlay. The supple finish is round and balanced, providing persistent length of flavor. Paramour will continue to develop with time in the bottle for the next decade or more. The cooler-than-normal 2011 Napa Valley grape-growing season concluded in an expedited harvest. The outcome was a vintage with flavors developed at lower brix, resulting in truly elegant wines with European-style texture and great complexity.”

Blend:  71% cabernet franc; 19% merlot; 10% cabernet sauvignon

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