2004 Terra Blanca Onyx

I’ve covered Terra Blanca wines before on this site and there’s no doubt that they produce some great wines. In fact, they really are a good QPR (quality-to-price-ratio) winery that has the accolades to back up its efforts.

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Like most wineries, it too releases a flagship blended wine which is great because we as wine drinkers get to experience the winemakers vision for what he or she had invisioned. Making wine is a lot like painting on an empty canvas – like an experience-trip – but one that ultimately is uniquely our own.

Veteran winemaker, Keith Pilgrim, used all bordeaux clones in this bottle which is great as all too many wineries toss in Syrah into the mix – not a bad thing but sometimes it’s fun to see where it can go without bringing Burgundy-style grapes into it.

Technical Data:

  • Vineyard: 100% Red Mountain Estate Vineyard
  • Blend: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verlot
  • Sugar: 25brix
  • Acitidy: .550g/100ml
  • pH: 3.56
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Production: 120 cases
  • Price: $45

Nose: bright cherries and raspberries coming thru- sort of like Fruity Pebbles breakfast ceral – on the nose along with rose petal, cement dust, hints of cocoa, tar and some cola. 

Taste: Floods of fruit on the front palate – rainier cherries, some hints of dirt, baseball mit, stinky sock and blackberry. Everything goes along just dandy until it starts to hit the back-side of the palate and that’s when this wine falls apart for me. A wine of this price-range should have a good follow-through and I’m just not feelin’ it. You, however, may have a different vibe on it so  I’d highly encourage you to try a bottle.

W.E.P. Rating: 68%

Winery website: www.terrablanca.com

  • Steve-o

    The ’04 vintage on Red Mountain had a really bad freeze that wiped a fair amount of the crop. Good to see winemakers made due with what they had.

  • Robert

    I used to belong to their wine club and was rather disappointed with the inconsistancies of their blend onyx. So I beg to differ on your QPR. With a truly skilled winemaker this blend should present itself yearly with a thread of consistancy, though with subtle shifts in flavor profiles due to influences from barrel selection, blending, etc..,
    Some of the cabs I would receive were similar, a surprise shipment of the '98 was very, very off, and made me wonder why we were getting an older vintage (they claimed library) out of sequence. I assumed they had a glut of this vintage. All in all I guess it is subjective. Personal taste. I withdrew my club membership and continue to wonder to this day what they are really doing out there. Though I will admit I really liked their '02 reserve syrah. Would still like to get my hands on some!!