2018 Cervantes Blacktail Proprietary Red Blend MMXIII Napa Valley

  • 98 WA Napa Red
  • Rare Allocation 
  • Extremely limited production
  • 99pt Vintage, Wine Spectator
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About the Wine

It has been called Napa Valley’s last frontier. Just over the peak of Howell Mountain, alongside Pritchard Hill, is a place less-traveled yet full of promise. The Cervantes Family vineyard is nestled right in the southern point of Pope Valley in the Vacas Mountain Range directly east of Napa's main valley. What this estate lacks in exposure to the masses, it more than makes up for with breathtaking wines.  The Blacktail Blend is hedonism in its purest form, with a combination of Bordeaux varieties and a touch a of Petite Sirah, this wine is not for the faint of heart.

Here, the adventurous Cervantes family pairs with a renowned team, including winemakers Andy Erickson and Jessica Tarpy. For the uninitiated, Andy Erickson has had his hands in just about every major cult wine in the valley since the mid-1990s including Screaming Eagle, Harlan, and Ovid. Andy is nothing short of a Napa legend and Jessica Tarpy has quickly become a major accomplice. Jessica even produces the wine under Andy Erickson and his wife Annie Favia's private label. 

This estate has a collaborative environment where winegrowers and designers share a dream to realize the full possibility of an unsung terroir. A 1,100-acre ranch weaves in and around five acres of hillside vineyards. Remote, rugged, unspoiled, picturesque, and free. A land to be stewarded and shared like the wines it gifts. The Cervantes family makes wines of distinctive character from an uncharted place made by people on a mission. 

Aging: 20 Months in French Oak

Tasting Notes: 27% Cabernet Franc, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Malbec, 23% Petite Sirah, and 4% Petit Verdot. The wine is as complex and alluring as it sounds. Floral notes, herbs and spices, and scents of gravel and earth are seamlessly integrated with dark, ripe fruit aromas and flavors. The wine is structured but accessible, and the combination of fruit, tannin, and acid are mouthwatering. The many layers in the glass will draw you in and keep you coming back for more.

Reviews

"We don't have anything in mind about what the final blend will be each year," winemaker Andy Erickson said about this Blacktail blend. "We want to create something that is unique to the place this year." The 2018 Blacktail Proprietary Red BlendMMXIII is composed of 27% Cabernet Franc, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Malbec, 23% Petite Sirah and 4% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple in color, it bursts with flamboyant blue fruits, plum preserves and black cherry compote notes, with hints of rose oil, Indian spices, camphor and pencil lead plus a waft of truffles. The intense, full-bodied palate delivers wonderfully ripe, rounded tannins with beautiful poise, leading to a long floral finish. Amazing wine! ~98 Points

More of a red blend, the 2018 Proprietary Blend Blacktail is 27% Cabernet Franc, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Malbec, 23% Petite Sirah, and 4% Petit Verdot. It has a similar purple hue to go with lively notes of red, black, and blue fruits intermixed with plenty of leafy herbs, earth, violets, and spice-like aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied and elegant on the palate, with a lively texture, it carries plenty of richness yet also has a notable spine of tannins and acidity. Short-term cellaring is the name of the game here, but it's definitely more accessible than the Cabernet Sauvignon. ~94 Jeb Dunnuck

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