2009 Blankiet Estate Rive Droite, Paradise Hills Vineyard

Our true Bordeaux Right Bank wine. Merlot with a touch of Cabernet Franc. This wine is gorgeously fruit forward with a core of minerality.

Information & Reviews by Vintage

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001

Review

  • Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (May 12, 2012)

    Review by Stephen Tanzer

    Rating: (95)

    VIEW

    (79.8% merlot, 11.8% cabernet franc and 8.4% cabernet sauvignon): Good bright ruby-red. Perfumed nose offers currant, cherry, cocoa powder, brown spices and rose petal. Concentrated, broad and perfumed, with lovely innermouth energy and lift. The slow-building, impressively long finish features serious structure and extremely suave tannins.
    A beautiful California merlot.

     

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  • Wine Advocate # 204 (Dec. 2012)

    Review by Antonio Galloni

    Rating: (96)

    VIEW

    Blankiet’s 2009 Rive Droite Paradise Hills Vineyard is another rich, bombastic wine. There is plenty of depth in the glass as layers of dark fruit, tobacco, smoke, plums and cloves flesh out over time. Here, too, the French oak is a bit overpowering. The 2009 Rive Droite is outstanding, but in time it will be viewed as a transitional wine in the estate’s history. The 2009 Rive Droite is 80% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2029. Claude and Katherine Blankiet have spared no expense in their goal to make world-class wines, and it shows in these magnificent new releases. One of the biggest changes at Blankiet over the last few years has been the creation of a second wine, Prince of Hearts, first released with the 2008 vintage. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the creation of a second label is one of the main reasons quality has been so exceptional here, especially in the last few years, none of which has been easy. Prince of Hearts, with its production between 600-1,000 cases, is all or mostly juice that used to end up in the Rive Droite and Proprietary Red. Readers who want to learn more about Blankiet might like to take a look at my videos of the 2011 and 2012 harvests. The differences between the 2009s and 2010s are striking. Some of that – perhaps much of that – is attributable to the qualities of the years themselves. Claude Blankiet describes 2009 as a warmer vintage than 2010 and certainly 2011. The 2009s were made by Michel Rolland, but the blends were finalized by Denis and May-Britt Malbec. Since their arrival, the Malbecs have lowered toast levels in the cellar, and perhaps most importantly of all, brought with them an approach to viticulture that seeks to stress the vines less than was previously the norm here. Changes in farming normally take at least a few years to show results, so it follows that it will take some time before the full potential of these vineyards are fully realized.

    Anticipated maturity: 2019 – 2029

     

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  • Wine Advocate # 209 (Oct. 2013)

    Review by Robert Parker

    Rating: (98)

    VIEW

    One of the finest Merlot-based wines in all of California, the 2009 Rive Droite Paradise Hills Vineyard is a blend of 79.8% Merlot, 11.8% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon. Unfortunately, there are only 200 cases compared to 510 cases of the 2009 Proprietary Red. It finished at 15.2% alcohol, and reminded me of the pre-1975 vintages of Petrus. Robust and full-bodied with abundant notes of kirsch, mocha, mulberry and plum fruit intertwined with grilled meat and charcuterie, new saddle leather and fudge characteristics. This superb, opulent, voluptuously textured 2009 can be drunk now or cellared for 20-25 years. The Blankiet Estate owned by Claude and Katherine Blankiet is beautifully situated on the lower hillsides of the Mayacamas Mountains, just behind the large Napanook estate of Dominus. An enviable group of talented people have provided assistance here, beginning with David Abreu, Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer, followed by Michel Rolland, Martha McClellan, and more recently Denis Malbec. Production remains between 1,800 and 2,500 cases with nearly half of that devoted to their second wine, the Prince of Hearts. The other cuvees include the Proprietary Red (Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated) and the Rive Droite (a Pomerol / St.-Emilion look-a-like wine), and in 2012, they added a tiny, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon cuvee called Mythicus. I could be wrong, but it seems to me these wines, which performed very well, and are among the finest of the so-called “cult” wines of Napa Valley, remain under-the-radar. Perhaps that is due to the small production. The 2009s are all stunning. In the challenging 2011 vintage, the Blankiets along with their winemaker Denis Malbec have fashioned very good examples, although they are much lighter and less concentrated and authoritative than the top vintages. The 2012s are among the finest wines Blankiet has yet made

     

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