I’m rarely a fan of the lower level Blackstone wines, seeing them as bland, sweet and too commercial. And, like most Rhianna songs that get played too often on the radio, I grew tired of hearing about and seeing Blackstone Merlot like everywhere when there were so many others of better quality for the same price. But Blackstone’s Rubric Reserve always intrigues.
A blend of seven red grapes with Cabernet Sauvignon predominant, the hand-crafted, loving quality completely shows through this wine. It’s like Blackstone opened up the sandbox for winemaker Gary Sitton to play in. With the 55% Cabernet, he adds Malbec for fruitiness, Cabernet Franc for earthiness, Petit Verdot for depth, Tannat (an obscure grape originally from the south of France) for tannin structure, Merlot for softness and Petite Sirah for a ‘lil color and dark fruit flavors. The result is a lovely, full-bodied sexy wine layered with black cherry, sweet vanilla, a smidge of cocoa, blackberry and earthy tobacco. Supple tannins, balanced acidity and long, fruity finish of oaky black cherry. If you like Cabs, this might be a good change of pace.
Sweetness: 1 out of 10
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Occasion: Tasted a sample sent from the winery.
Availability: High-end grocery stores
Food pairing: Roasted and herbed lamb loin, cheddar cheeses, braised meats