2014 Virage Rose
2011 Bordeaux Blend
2007 CabFranc/Merlot Blend
2008 CabFranc/Merlot Blend
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2012 Virage Barrel Select - 750ml
A prized, exceptional single-barrel lot. The 2012 Barrel Select Virage was bottled to showcase the extraordinary character and chocolatey richness of one of our favorite blocks. Of the 9 barrels produced from this lot, the others were blended into the *regular* vintage, but this wine--aged over 2 years in a favorite Saury French oak barrel--just wanted to be bottled alone, and is ready to drink now! Lesson learned the magazines won't review less than 50 cases, so next time I decide to do this, I'll make it 2-3 barrels, but nobody will need reviewers' scores to appreciate this delicious wine. Similar to its predecessor from 2008, a perfect marriage of smooth, dark, mineral-rich fruit with with dense chewy structure enhanced by the elegant barrel. One to sip while nibbling on fine, flavorful cheeses. Just 22 cases produced.
2008 Virage Barrel Select - 750ml
$72.00 SOLD OUT
This special 2-barrel lot was selected by the winery team for a separate bottling, after aging 29 months in 100% new Saury barrels. Sold direct from the winery only, this blend reveals a perfect marriage of smooth, dark, mineral-rich fruit flavors with the very smooth silken texture and sasparilla flavors of these pretty barrels. Ready to drink. Just 42 cases produced.
2007 Virage Bordeaux Blend
Our Wine Enthusiast 92-point first release, and a Wine & Spirits Magazine YEARS BEST, Cabernet Franc leads this layered, complex Bordeaux-style blend. Expressive aromatics introduce rich pomegranate and black cherry mingling with graphite, fine tobacco, and a savory minerality reminiscent of a Right-Bank Bordeaux. With time in decanter, this built-to-age blend gains further weight and depth, developing an exquisite plushy texture and layers of deep black-fruit flavors, with espresso and bittersweet cocoa lingering on a mouthwatering finish. A special and complex wine which, like a great conversation, continues to evolve over the course of a relaxed dinner. Drink now or continue to cellar several years. 912 cases produced.
2011 Virage Bordeaux Blend
Lovely concentrated fruit, complexity and balance in 13.8% alcohol (really!). 2011 was an especially cool vintage for Napa Valley, but it's always cool in Carneros. The rains at harvest were unforgiving, but we had optimal ripeness after a good long hangtime; being small producers, we literally shook every vine before picking to remove berries ravaged by botrytis, and sorted some more at the winery. The wine offers deep, rich stone fruit flavors laced with signature Virage minerality. Dinner friendly and just way too easy to drink right out of the bottle with no decant needed. We've given it a 2-year aging in bottle before release.
481 cases produced. Early reviews are in - 92 by W&S!!
2010 Virage Bordeaux Blend
A lush blend from our same cool-climate Virage sources, about a third of the grapes from nearby Hyde Vineyards. Produced from bud-break to bottling by the current Virage team, the bottle reads "Rutherford" on the back label from blending and bottling with our good friends at Alpha Omega Winery. Deliriously engaging aromatics introduce deep red and black stone fruit layered with dark chocolate and toasted almond. A big wine, but as always, bright acidity on the mouth-watering finish, leaving you hungry... The very cool growing season of 2010 caught all of Napa Valley a bit overexposed in the vineyard (even in Carneros) with severe heat strikes at season's end, which for us --once we snipped away the raisins--added that layer of ripe lushness over the slowly-developed flavors that we love from cooler-climate growing. An endless finish of fruit-laced bittersweet chocolate. 622 cases produced. Best served at 65F.
2008 Virage Bordeaux Blend
Smooth and savory black cherry with leather and anise (black licorice). Exceptionally smooth and seamless, this is our favorite restaurant wine--it works with everyone's meal. Medium weight and lovely balance: a little fruit, a little savory, a lot smooth. Pretty pomegranate and red fruits complement lighter fare and midday dining. But the longer it's open, the darker and more focused it becomes--ready for dinner. Grown in cooler-climate Carneros hillsides, this right-bank Bordeaux-style blend shows why vintner Emily Richer calls Cabernet Franc the
"Pinot Lover's Bordeaux."
Silky and earthy like a pinot noir, but a little more
. Steve Heimoff of Wine Enthusiast wrote: "soft and melted.... currant, red stone fruit and licorice flavors are delicious and complex. Drink up!" We agree. 308 cases produced.
2015 tasting update: give it time in decanter to bring out the dark richness. Cheers!
2014 Virage Dry Rose
Here we go again! This year's bracing, direct-pressed rosé packs a punch of flavor. Crisp edges, subtropical fruits --kumquat, blood orange, passionfruit, peach--with a zesty, mouthwatering finish. Outstanding choice to wash down butter-drenched lobster, or spicy sausage in any form, including hot off the grill on a summer afternoon. As always, we grow for rosé, pick for rosé and obsess over the details, fermenting COMPLETELY DRY for maximum freshness. Longtime Virage Rosé fans will find this vintage feels closer to 2012 in weight and flavor intensity, 2010 in fruitiness. Not the sheer mineral delicacy of the 2013 as we picked wee riper, ironically at the insistence of the French consulting winemaker we hired after she returned from two years working on rosés in Provence! Chef John suggests brined pork chop and grilled peach salsa.... I might add some lemon and evoo dressed arugula? Photos and recipe to come! 460 cases produced. Our rosés always benefit from aeration to open up the fruit when young--say, through July.
2013 Virage Dry Rose
$26.00 SOLD OUT
WE Best of Year! Capturing the essence of Southern French rosé with our fourth vintage, the 2013 Virage is sheer, delicate and delightful. Aging on the lees brought out chalky, mineral aromas similar to a sparkling brut rosé. This wine is bone dry, clean and refreshing, with a polished satin texture. White peach, guava and melon and delicate minerality. Perfect for brunch, lunch and first courses year-round. Pair fearlessly with delicate seafood--sashimi, ceviche, freshly-shucked oysters. Amazing with crab. 420 cases produced.
2012 Virage Dry Rose
$24.00 SOLD OUT
90WS! The most flavor-packed Virage rosé. A crisp, refreshing fine wine produced by southern French method as always. The very expressive aromas--stone fruit, tangerine, papaya, pink grapefruit--all come through on the palate, carried in a crisp structure, finishing with citrus zest and a hint of minerality. Fuller body than 2011. This lively wine shows the benefit of grapes harvested early, specifically for rosé. The berries were de-stemmed, macerated overnight, then pressed after a little color and flavor released from the skins. Fermented slow and cool in small stainless drums to preserve delicate aromas. Think crab cakes, paella, salumi, salads, grilled salmon, grilled anything. Fabulous with sushi. Grab a California roll and discover dry rosé. Only 126 cases produced.
2011 Virage Rose
$24.00 SOLD OUT
Crisp, bright dry rosé of cabernet franc offering delicate, mineral-laced aromas and flavors of hibiscus, quince and citrus. An engaging, lively wine from whole-cluster pressed grapes harvested specifically for rosé. In 2011, the very cool growing season delivered a pale, elegant beauty. This is decidedly French-styled rosé--pressed after a short maceration for a hint of color from the skins, then fermented at cool temperatures in small stainless steel drums to preserve delicate aromas and fresh flavors.
Like a sparkling wine, dry rosé complements brunch, lunch and most any hors-d'oeurves or "first course" fare. Stunning with shellfish--crabcakes, grilled shrimp, fried calamari, cioppino, sushi and ceviche. The lively minerality also complements cured meats and smoked salmon. Emily's signature pairing: prosciutto-wrapped green honeydew skewered with french feta, fresh mint and a bit of preserved lemon (see photo). 138 cases produced.
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