Sign In

2017 Blackbird Vineyards Contrarian

ITEM 8100452 - Removed from a professional wine storage facility; Purchased at auction

Bidder Quantity Amount Total
3 $70
Item Sold Amount Date
I8117242 1 $65 Feb 20, 2022
I8111807 2 $65 Feb 13, 2022
I8035618 3 $80 Dec 19, 2021
Front Item Photo


94Vinous / IWC

Dark red and black fruit, grilled herbs, menthol, licorice, spice, leather and incense give the 2017 striking aromatic nuance. Deep and plush on the palate with plenty of supporting structure…

93James Suckling

Attractively ripe, sweet-smelling aromas of blueberries and blackberries with a brambly edge. The palate has such succulent, complex and complete style with a super juicy, lithe edge to the pure black cherries and blackcurrants. Some plums and chocolate to close.

92+ The Wine Advocate

…notes of baked blackcurrants, fruitcake and tilled soil with hints of fallen leaves, yeast extract and dark chocolate. Medium to full bodied, the palate has a core of taut, muscular black fruit with firm, grainy tannins and bold freshness, finishing on a provocative mineral note.

91Jeb Dunnuck

...bright, juicy style as well as notes of black plums, currants, ground herbs, and dark chocolate. It's nicely concentrated, has elevated acidity, good purity, and fine tannins.


Blackbird Vineyards

Blackbird Vineyards was founded in 1999 as a vineyard providing grapes to Napa winemakers. In 2003 it was purchased by Michael Polenske who started making and selling Blackbird wines. The wines are generally Merlot or Cabernet Franc-based and inspired by the great wines of the Pomerol, and in fact the word “merlot” is French slang for “little blackbird.” Polenske is an entrepreneur with financial interests in restaurants, wineries and other parts of the leisure and hospitality industries. The 10-acre Oak Knoll District vineyard is planted 100% to Merlot. There are additional vineyards in Carneros, St. Helena and other parts of Napa Valley. Blackbird wines often earn ratings in the 90s. Wine Spectator called the 2010 Paramour “elegant, graceful, deftly balanced.”


United States, California, Napa Valley

Napa Valley AVA is the most famous winemaking region in the United States and one of the most prestigious in the world. With nearly 43,000 acres of vineyards and more than 300 wineries, it is the heart of fine wine production in the United States. Winemaking started in Napa in 1838 when George C. Yount planted grapes and began producing wine commercially. Other winemaking pioneers followed in the late 19th century, including the founders of Charles Krug, Schramsberg, Inglenook and Beaulieu Vineyards. An infestation of phylloxera, an insect that attacks vine roots, and the onset of Prohibition nearly wiped out the nascent Napa wine industry in the early 20th century. But by the late 1950s and early 1960s Robert Mondavi and other visionaries were producing quality wines easily distinguishable from the mass-produced jug wines made in California’s Central Valley. Napa Valley’s AVA was established in 1983, and today there are 16 sub-appellations within the Napa Valley AVA. Many grapes grow well in Napa’s Mediterranean climate, but the region is best known for Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay is also very successfully cultivated, and about 30% of the AVA’s acreage is planted to white grapes, with the majority of those grapes being Chardonnay,