78% Merlot; 21% Cabernet Franc; 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. 21 months in French Oak barrels, 75% new. From Blackbird Vineyard (Oak Knoll), Hudson Vineyard (Carneros), Shifflet Vineyard (Yountville), and Stagecoach Vineyard (Vaca Mountains).
This represents the core of Blackbird Vineyards: a challenge to the notion that Cabernet Sauvignon is the only age-worthy red variety in the Napa Valley. With inviting aromas of coffee, iris, clove, and shitake mushrooms, Illustration is the most luxurious wine in the Blackbird portfolio. The mouthfeel offers density with integrated tannins and a long finish of violets, cocoa, and plum, with a first initial flush of sweetness, rich and concentrated yet with vibrant acidity. This is gorgeous and will continue to develop over the next fifteen years with time in the cellar.
Wine Spectator 91/100