The 2012 Prince of Hearts Paradise Hills Vineyard is fabulous, as it has been the last few years. Racy and perfumed, the 2012 impresses for its balance, class and overall symmetry. Sweet floral and spiced notes add lift on the finish. Best of all, Prince of Hearts remains one of the very finest values in handmade, artisan Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2012 is simply exquisite. Blankiet has come a long way over the last few years. Increased focus on the dual flagships Rive Droite and Proprietary Red fueled by Claude and Katherine Blankiet's relentless pursuit of excellence has resulted in more severe selection, lower production and higher overall quality. One of the secondary results of that is a marked increase in quality of Blankiet's second wine, Prince of Hearts, which is now one of the very best values in Napa Valley. More recently, the Blankiets have introduced a pure Cabernet Sauvignon, Mythicus. Every visit to Blankiet Estate is proof of the total obsession to detail that is the rule here. The 2012s are radiant and expressive, which is the style of the year, but I was also quite surprised by just how finessed the 2013s are now given that so many wines in this vintage are so structured and tannic. These are magnificent wines from the Blankiets and the husband and wife winemaking team of Denis and May-Britt Malbec. (AG)
Lots of juicy and ripe fruit aromas plus hints of chocolate. Roses and flowers too. Full body and plenty of fruit, yet there's an underlying firmness at the end. Hints of jam. Drink now.
A blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the outstanding 2012 Prince of Hearts Paradise Hills Vineyard is soft, plump and juicy with notes of candied caramel, blackcurrants, sweet kirsch, new saddle leather and licorice. This fabulous small estate tucked in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains, behind the Dominus Napanook estate in Yountville, continues to turn out a bevy of brilliant wines from proprietors Claude and Katherine Blankiet. As I wrote last year, they have had an amazing group of top wine consultants on their payroll, including viticulturist David Abreu, Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer, Michael Rolland, Martha McClellan, and currently, Denis Malbec. The owners’ only goal is to make world-class wines, and their tiny production of under 2,500 cases is mindboggling for the major effort they are making. In any event, it’s about quality, not quantity. (RP)
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