Review by Robert Parker
The sexy, sensual 2012 Rive Droite Paradise Hills Vineyard, a 400-case blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, exhibits a dense ruby/purple color, lush, chocolaty, mocha, coffee bean, black cherry and blackcurrant notes, and a fleshy, plump, full-bodied style. This delicious 2012 can be enjoyed over the next 10-15 years. This fabulous small estate tucked in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains, behind the Dominus Napanook estate in Yountville, continues to turn out a bevy of brilliant wines from proprietors Claude and Katherine Blankiet. As I wrote last year, they have had an amazing group of top wine consultants on their payroll, including viticulturist David Abreu, Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer, Michael Rolland, Martha McClellan, and currently, Denis Malbec. The owners’ only goal is to make world-class wines, and their tiny production of under 2,500 cases is mindboggling for the major effort they are making. In any event, it’s about quality, not quantity. The 2012s are beautifully forward, open-knit, ripe wines, and the 2013s look equally fleshy and beautiful, and perhaps, as a vintage, less backward than many 2013s may prove to be elsewhere.