Vineyard Shot


Accolades for BlackSmith Wines

Full Pull Offer & Review - BlackSmith 2011 Red Wine

"...rock-solid vineyard odd blend, but it hangs together well...warming, generous character...a lovely choice as a house wine in the bleak mid-winter."

Paul Zitarelli,, January 24, 2014


Hello friends. Our offer today focuses on the lovely wines of Marie-Eve Gilla. The original plan was to offer 2 BlackSmith wines only, but Marie-Eve recently informed me that her 2011 Chardonnay for Forgeron is reaching the end of vintage (expected to sell out in the next few weeks). They’ll be rolling into the 2012 soon, so I’ll include a reoffer for the 2011 at the bottom of today’s offer, since it is a glorious Chardonnay that has been the subject of frequent reorder requests.

But first, BlackSmith. I love this project, which is intended to take advantage of unique opportunities on the spot market. It’s a label where the varietals and vineyards aren’t consistent from year to year but will instead represent Marie-Eve’s opportunities to purchase quality grapes at affordable prices.

These bottlings are fireflies, blinking in and out of existence so fast that you wonder if you really saw them at all. Our last BlackSmith offer was in March 2012, so it has been awhile since the BlackSmith fireflies have blinked. But here they are again, back for a moment in ephemeral glory:

2011 BlackSmith Red Wine - $14.99 (TPU $13.99)

I’ll admit I was dubious when I saw the blend, which had “kitchen sink” written all over it: 50% Merlot, 17% Petite Sirah, 13% Zinfandel, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Lemberger.

But then I did 2 things: I tasted the wine, and I researched the vineyard sources.

The tasting: Starts with a nose of brambly blackberry and raspberry fruit, complicated by insistent earthy/mushroom notes. The palate is ripe, rich, and brambly, a palate that makes it hard to believe this is the cooler 2011 vintage. For me, despite only making up 30% of the total blend, it’s the Petite Sirah and Zin that dominate the palate with their generous burly fruit profiles. This picks up steam and rolls into a powerful finish, all chewy/delicious Petite Sirah tannins.

The vineyard sources: That 50% Merlot comes entirely from Boushey Vineyard (nice!), as does all the Cab Franc. The thermophilic varieties come from nice hot sites (PS from Stonetree, Zin from Alder Ridge). The Cab is from Red Mountain (Hightower). These are rock-solid vineyard sources for a $15 wine.

Undoubtedly this is an odd blend, but it hangs together well. Its warming, generous character makes it a lovely choice as a house wine in the bleak mid-winter.

Paul Zitarelli,, January 24, 2014