This is pure California with all the soft, juicy ripeness that “California” implies. A blend of 55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cab Franc, it comes from vineyards in the Alexander Valley (56%), Mendocino (35%), and the Dry Creek Valley (9%). The fruit is very ripe with obvious but not overpowering oak. Bluebird Mt. Cuvée spent 18 months in barrique, 60% French and 40% American. The alcohol is a relatively modest 14.1%; production was 51 barrels that filled 1168 cases.
Bluebird is a joint venture between Ryan Donnelly and Lane Shackleton with Reed Renaudin as wine maker. Ryan’s parents and grandparents were in the wholesale wine and spirits business. After he graduated from the University of the South with a degree in Economics, he work a harvest for Yellow Tail in Australia before moving on to Cline Cellars and finally Stag's Leap Wine Cellars in Napa. After a variety of jobs and adventures including mountain guiding in Alaska, environmental consulting in Australia, and teaching children in Sub-Saharan Africa about the dangers of AIDS/HIV, Lane moved to California, met Ryan, and dove head-first with him into the wine industry. They made every mistake that could be made, but learned quickly, focusing on a single vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay called “Miracle One.” Reed began working in the wine industry in 1996 before getting his BS from UC Davis and MBA from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. After completing extensive graduate research in Enology, Reed worked for Gallo of Sonoma, Heitz, and Cuvaison before joining Ryan and Lane.
Bluebird aims for environmental responsibility with limited use of water and chemicals, state-of-the-art wastewater treatment, and a solar powered climate and humidity controlled facility that was built with reclaimed materials and low VOC paints.