Visit at Blackbird

Next visit led us to a small artisanal winery, Blackbird Vineyards.  We were greeted at the farmhouse by Heather Yargus, Blackbird's sales and marketing associate.  The house was full of antiques and paintings- it felt like Little House on the Prairie meets the Guggenheim.  We then were introduced to the wines.

Blackbird began as a vision by proprietor Michael Polenske.  He sees the Oak Knoll District in Napa as having the same capability with Merlot as Pomerol in Bordeaux.  The wines are crafted by winemaker, Sarah Gott of Joel Gott Wines and formerly of Joseph Phelps and Quintessa.  They have garnered high praise and scores from many writers and connoisseurs.  We tried two of them:

  • 2007 Arriviste Napa Rosé- 80/20 Merlot and Cabernet Franc, has great pink color with lots of fruit and a bit of spice.  The finish was medium and seems to be a good summer wine.

  • 2006 Illustration- mostly Merlot with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, has a rich dark ruby color, and full body.  Black fruit accompanies floral components, leather, and chocolate.  It has very natural flavors due to being unfined and unfiltered.

If you get your chance to grab one of their wines, take it.  They are low production, fine quality, and definite collectors items.