Review by Antonio Galloni
Blankiet’s 2012 Proprietary Red Paradise Hills Vineyard is just starting to open up. The 2012 is delicate and totally sublime. Expressive Cabernet Sauvignon aromatics open up first, followed by layers of expressive red-fleshed fruit. Light on its feet and exceptionally polished throughout, the 2012 delivers the goods, big time. In 2012, the Proprietary Red speaks to finesse above all else. This is the most impressive of Blankiet’s 2012s today.
Grapes Variety: 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16.1% Merlot, 2.1% Cabernet Franc, 0.8% Petit Verdot
Blankiet has come a long way over the last few years. Increased focus on the dual flagships Rive Droite and Proprietary Red fueled by Claude and Katherine Blankiet’s relentless pursuit of excellence has resulted in more severe selection, lower production and higher overall quality. One of the secondary results of that is a marked increase in quality of Blankiet’s second wine, Prince of Hearts, which is now one of the very best values in Napa Valley. More recently, the Blankiets have introduced a pure Cabernet Sauvignon, Mythicus. Every visit to Blankiet Estate is proof of the total obsession to detail that is the rule here. The 2012s are radiant and expressive, which is the style of the year, but I was also quite surprised by just how finessed the 2013s are now given that so many wines in this vintage are so structured and tannic. These are magnificent wines from the Blankiets and the husband and wife winemaking team of Denis and May-Britt Malbec. Blankiet fans will find much to admire in these current and upcoming releases. The 2012s continue to develop positively in bottle, while the 2013s capture the utter profoundness of this great Napa Valley vintage. But it is the 2014s that could turn out to be the most surprising wines in the three vintages spanning 2012-2014, as they exude brisk energy, striking aromatics and fabulous overall energy. Comparing the 2013s and 2014s here will be a fascinating exercise for many years to come. Proprietors Claude and Katherine Blankiet spare no expense to put only the very best in the bottle, while winemakers Denis and May-Britt Malbec continue to refine their approach to getting the most out of these pristine hillside vineyards. The flagship Proprietary Red and new 100% Cabernet Sauvignon Mythicus will get most of the attention, but readers should also take a look at the Prince of Hearts, which is one of Napa Valley’s very finest values in artisan, world-class wine.