Library Release' - is there any more exciting phrase when it comes to world class wines?! Perhaps only when preceded by 'Winery Direct', and so we have it with the sublime Blankiet Estate Paradise Hills Vineyard Proprietary Red 2016.

Divided by the West Napa Seismic Faultline, Blankiet Estate is a marvel of terroir. It is unique in its mix of iron rich andesite, white tufa (decomposed volcanic ash), basalt, sand, and red clay, all cooled by a distinctive breeze drawn across the vines from the San Pablo Bay to the south. Farmed with organic and biodynamic principles, it is bursting with wildlife and carries a sense of tranquillity that washes over you as you drive through the entrance.

The vines planted, by Napa legend David Abreu, are now 27 years old, giving the wines a characteristic power and complexity. The first vintage (1999) was made by the iconic Helen Turley (Marcassin), who handed the reins in 2006 to Martha McClellan (SLOAN ESTATE). In 2010, Denis Malbec (Kapcsándy Estate) took the baton, before his tragic passing. That saw Claude put his faith in a young-buck winemaker working with his own family's historic vineyard in the heart of To Kalon, Graeme MacDonald (2016-present).

Graeme brought an extra level of nuance and precision to the wines, and his debut Proprietary Red 2016 is nothing short of magnificent. In his Dec. 2018 review, Antonio Galloni hailed it as "Utterly magnificent... a total stunner" and was keen to emphasise that patience would be required, suggesting it would hit its prime in 2024. The time is now!

The gorgeous Cabernet Sauvignon-based is laced with the elegance, energy, and sense of place that comes from the epic 2016 vintage, and eight years later it is utterly beguiling. We tasted it with Claude and Graeme at the Estate last year, and they were generous enough to release a handful of cases from the cellar.

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2016 Blankiet Estate, Paradise Hills Vineyard Proprietary Red, Napa Valley 6x75cl

Blend: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.5% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1.5% Petit Verdot Vintage production: 605 cases Blankiet Estate is nestled above Yountville on the western foothills of the Mayacamas... Mountains. ?The Paradise Hills Vineyard is carved on steep hillsides just above the famed Dominus Estate Napanook parcel that was originally planted in 1838 by Yountville’s founder, George C. Yount. With an ideal eastern exposure, the land is bathed with morning sun and benefits from natural shade in the hot afternoons, and cool breezes from the San Pablo Bay flow constantly across the land. It's located on three volcanic knolls where soil profiles vary from deeply fractured rocks and volcanic ash, to thick clay deposits, meaning each parcel is distinguished by a unique subsoil and microclimate. At just 6.5 hectares in size it's a remarkably small site, yet the incredible complexity of the terroir allows for three distinct wines, each of a singular style. This is an Estate at the top of its game. Combined with the very talented winemaker Graeme MacDonald and owner Claude Blankiet's attention to detail, is truly worthy of an exploration.
£1,320 / Case£220 / BottleDuty Status: In Bond ⋅ Price incl. of Duty & VAT: £1,603.22 / Case, £267.20 / BottleAvailability: Immediate ⋅ ETA to UK address: 2-4 days