Complex and expressive with aromas of black currant, cherry and black périgold truffle, Contrarian is ripe to impress with its notable density, tight tannins and illustrious texture. With a long finish of black licorice, blackberries, plum and toffee, the vintage evolves tremendously on the palate.
Blend: 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot
97-points Somm Journal Blackbird Vineyards 2016 Con trarian, Napa Valley ($135). The use of 100% French oak gives this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot its gentle mouth- feel and adds to its ageability. Following aromas of licorice and blackberry preserves, deep notes of dried heather and pressed violets are almost tarry in their density. Dusty cocoa tannins and a soy-sauce savoriness intensify the wine’s boldness and opulence as it opens up, but it re mains within an elegant frame.
94-points Wine & Spirits Though Blackbird’s original wine was a merlot-focused blend, current winemaker Aaron Pott takes Contrarian in a savory, less voluptuous direction. The wine is grounded by cabernet sauvignon, with a contribution from Ballard Vineyard on Spring Mountain that lends it stature and breed, as well as mineral-inflected tannins that carry the smokiness of rock striking rock. The wine’s blackberry juiciness and black-olive savor gain depth and detail with air, the flavors glimmering like cool water in a well. It has an old-fashioned sense of Napa Valley, before the wines got fancy. Decant it for Mediterranean lamb.
93-points Jeb DunnuckStarting with the 2016 Contrarian Proprietary Red Wine, this deep purple-colored effort checks in as 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Cabernet Franc, and the balance Merlot. It offers plenty of classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon flair in its blue fruits, graphite, licorice, and mineral-laced aromas and flavors. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, has a straight, focused style, terrific purity, and building tannins. It's going to require 4-6 years of bottle age and will drink nicely for 15+ years or more. (1/2019) 93-points James Suckling
A juicy and rich red with lots of fruit and polished yet fine tannins. Medium to full body and tight, focused fruit. Delicious now. Why wait? (10/2018)
93-points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Blended of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Cabernet Franc and 7% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Contrarian Proprietary Red reveals notes of crushed black and red currants, black cherries and red plums with touches of red roses, black tea, tilled soil and tobacco. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers intense red and black fruit layers with plenty of earthy sparks and a grainy frame, finishing long and refreshing. (LPB) 93+ (10/2018)
The 2016 Contrarian is a bold, powerful wine. Beams of Cabernet tannin give the 2016 its shape and overall feel. Sage, lavender, menthol, licorice, spice and leather add shades of nuance. Potent and also structured, the 2016 needs time in bottle to shed some of its tannin. Contrarian is Blackbird's Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine. (AG) (12/2018)