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 Vintage2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (May 16, 2013)
Review by Stephen Tanzer
(Right Bank blend based on 90% merlot): Dark medium ruby. Cooler on the nose than the Proprietary Red, offering sexy scents of blackberry, violet, licorice and leather. Then more opulent and open-knit on the palate, but with outstanding structure for a merlot-based wine. This utterly seamless example delivers insidious sweetness of fruit complicated by ineffable notes of wild herbs, licorice and spices. Very classy and long on the aftertaste, with
wonderfully refined tannins. A great California merlot. 95 points
(Winemaker Denis Malbec, who literally grew up at Chateau Latour, also makes the great merlot-based Roberta Reserve at Kapcsandy, which means that he is responsible for California’s two greatest merlots, in the opinion of
Wine Advocate # 204 (Dec. 2012)
Review by Antonio Galloni
The 2010 Rive Droite Paradise Hills Vineyard is endowed with serious richness and depth, all backed up by an equally serious core of pure, saline-infused minerality. The Rive Droite is far from an easygoing Merlot-based wine, rather it is endowed with tons of structure and pure power. Today, the 2010 is incredibly young. I don’t see it giving much pleasure before the age of ten, but its balance is beyond impeccable. This is a dazzling effort that stands out for its pure energy. The 2010 is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, with a drop of Petit Verdot.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2030.
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.
Drink 2020 – 2030
Wine Advocate # 209 (Oct. 2013)
Review by Robert Parker
The 2010 Rive Droite Paradise Hills Vineyard (89.4% Merlot, 10.4% Cabernet Franc and a dollop of Petit Verdot) is a 300 – case blend that tips the scale at 14.8% alcohol. Unlike most California Merlots that are sort of wishy – washy, lacking any real core, strength or structure, the Rive Droite is a robust, pe dal – to – the – metal, earthy, meaty, super – concentrated Merlot with lots of structure and minerality. Notes of chocolate, grilled meats, roasted herbs, and espresso beans are all present in this dense, thick, unctuously textured yet compelling wine that should hit its stride in 4 – 5 years, and last for 25 – 30. 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 t alented people have provided assistance here, beginning with David Abreu, Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer, follow ed by Michel Rolland, Martha McCl ellan, and more recently Denis Malbec. Production remains between 1,800 and 2,500 cases with nearly half of th at 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 stu nning. 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 wi nes Blankiet has yet made.