One of the six “Napa Valley Super-seconds” according to Robert M. Parker and Antonio Galloni. A Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc from barrels not culled for the flagship cuvées.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (May 12, 2012)
Review by Stephen Tanzer
(70.6% cabernet sauvignon, 24.9% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 1.5% petit verdot): Knockout perfume of black fruits, violet and cedar. Broad, lush and rather open-knit, with lovely fullness to the expressive flavors of currant, cherry, plum, spices and flowers. Very suave, concentrated and fine-grained for a “second wine”, finishing with even, building tannins and subtle suggestions of currant, graphite and wild herbs.
Wine Advocate # 198 (Dec. 2011)
Review by Antonio Galloni
The 2009 Prince of Hearts Paradise Hills Vineyard is a classy, refined wine graced with exquisite finesse. Red berries, flowers, licorice and sweet spices flesh out on the mid-palate. A totally impeccable, refined finish rounds things out in style. The 2009 continues to grow in the glass, which bodes very well for the future. In 2009 the blend is 70.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24.9% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1.5% Petit Verdot. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019. (Not yet released) Claude and
Katherine Blankiet have refined their approach over the last few years. Under the direction of Denis Malbec, the vines are now being farmed with the goal of keeping a more robust canopy in an effort to place less stress on the vines than has been the case in the recent past. In the cellar, Malbec is focusing on longer macerations and gentler extractions. He is also aging the component wines separately for a longer period of time, as opposed to Michel Rolland’s approach, which was to create the blends earlier. It will be fascinating to see what develops here. These hillside vineyards are some of the most pristine in the Valley. Readers who want to learn more about Blankiet Estate may want to take a look at my video interview with Claude Blankiet and Denis Malbec on www.erobertparker.com Tel. (707) 963-2001
Drink 2012 – 2019
Wine Advocate # 204 (Dec. 2012)
Review by Antonio Galloni
The 2009 Prince of Hearts Paradise Hills Vineyard jumps from the glass with an immediacy and juiciness that is impossible not to love. The extroverted, racy fruit is perfectly suited for an entry-level bottling. Raspberry jam, flowers, tobacco and sweet spices wrap around the palate as this flashy wine shows off its pedigree. The French oak is just a bit dominant, but that is a relatively small critique for a wine that delivers so much sheer pleasure at this price point. The 2009 is 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021. 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.
Anticipated maturity 2012-2021
Wine Advocate # 209 (Oct. 2013)
Review by Robert Parker
Composed of 70.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24.9% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the impressive 2009 Prince of Hearts Paradise Hills Vineyard reveals a deep ruby/purple color, an evolved personality and lots of black currant, cherry and pen ink characteristics. This dark, medium to full-bodied, supple textured wine should drink well for 12-15 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