2016 Hamel Family 'Isthmus' Red Sonoma Valley

(Net Item - no discounts apply)
RatingNot Yet Rated

The badger on the label hints at the burly power inside the bottle. 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and a dash of Merlot builds to a brickhouse of black fruit with tar, leather, iron and cola. Thick, chewy tannins build to an earthy finish on this dense, full-bodied red that will be well served by a nice long rest in your cellar! Crack it in 2025 and see your patience rewarded.

Using the Right Bank masterpieces of St. Émilion as the inspirational model, Blackbird proprietor Michael Polenske has assembled the two critical components that make things click in the glass: superlative vineyards and winemaking talent. Having first acquired the property made famous by Selene Merlot (a critical favorite), he turned his attention to fruit contracts from other established sources like Stagecoach and Crocker & Starr. Then came the winemaking team of Aaron Pott and Sarah Gott. Between them, they can count Château Troplong Mondot, Château La Tour Figeac, Joseph Phelps “Insignia” and Quintessa as wines they’ve produced. Not a bad lineup. Throw in endorsements from everyone from Wine Spectator to Robb Report to Men’s Journal, and it’s clear that these Blackbirds will not stay on the ground for very long.

Cabernet Sauvignon
Martha McClellan
26 months
Oak Treatment:
French oak
Country of Origin:
United States
Sonoma Valley
Total Varietal Composition %:
89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 1% Merlot
Alcohol %:
Score Wine Advocate:
89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 1% Merlot
SKU #:
750 ml Bottle
Wine Enthusiast:
This blends 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, the fruit from two estate vineyards, the Hamel Family Ranch on the valley floor and Nuns Canyon Vineyard higher up in the Moon Mountain appellation. Hearty, leathery and bursting in iron, clove and tobacco, the wine is full bodied, concentrated and refined in tannin—a good candidate for aging. Enjoy best from 2025–2030.