A Hidden Vine on the Lake in Mission Viejo has hosted a slate of impressive and intimate wine tastings this year, including Benoit Touquette, Niner Estates, and Foley. Next up, Hidden Vine is featuring the wines of Oak Knoll’s Blackbird Vineyards on July 28.
Blackbird is renowned for its mainly Right Bank (think merlot) Bordeaux-inspired red blends grown in their Napa Valley. The vineyard was planted in 1997 and immediately drew attention for the merlot’s purity and character. The estate’s first bottling in 2003 under the Blackbird label earned high scores as the “best merlot nobody had heard of.” That certainly isn’t the case any longer as Blackbird’s acclaim and following has grown exponentially.
Winemaker Aaron Potts was named Food & Wine’s 2012 Winemaker of the Year for his years of discovery and education in the field and distinction with Blackbird Vineyards.
Several things impress me about these Hidden Vine wine tastings. First, I’ll always vote for a deck and a view. Sitting on Lake Mission Viejo with boats passing and the sun setting tends to make the wine taste that much better. Next, Hidden Vine gives you a big bang for your buck. It secures top wineries with bottles that retail for $50 to well over $100 and charge just $65 for six pours and accompanying cheese, charcuterie, and dessert chocolate. Three of the Blackbird wines July 28 sell for $135 each and have earned mid-90 scores from Parker’s Wine Advocate.
The Blackbird Vineyards event has a smart variety of wines appealing to many palates. In true artisan style, the Blackbird team pays special attention to its cooperage using purely French oak, but with a specific toast per varietal and blend. This Blackbird tasting has the draw of quality, distinctive wine paired with the warmth and charm of Hidden Vine’s deck ambiance.
Blackbird Vineyards Wine Tasting at A Hidden Vine on the Lake
6 p.m. July 28
$65. Reservations: 949-916-4810
2017 Arriviste Rose – 60 percent cabernet sauvignon
2016 Dissonance – 89 percent sauvignon blanc
2014 Arise Red Blend
2014 Illustration Proprietary Red – 65 percent merlot
2015 Paramour – 93 percent cabernet franc
2014 Contrarian – 81 percent cabernet sauvignon