2014 Virage Rose
2011 Bordeaux Blend
2007 Bordeaux Blend
2008 Bordeaux Blend
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2012 Virage Barrel Select - 750ml
A prized, exceptional single-barrel lot. The 2012 Virage Barrel Select was bottled to showcase the extraordinary character and chocolatey richness of one of our favorite blocks. Of the nine barrels produced from this location, the others blessed the 2012 blend, but this wine--aged over two years in a favorite Saury barrel (French oak)--just wanted to be bottled alone. Lesson learned Wine Spectator won't review less than 50 case production wines, so next time I decide to do this, maybe I'll make 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--not overpowered--by oak aging. One to sip while nibbling on fine, flavorful cheeses. The balance is so perfect, can be enjoyed on its own. Just 22 cases produced.
update: Wine Enthusiast recommendation to come in November Issue...!
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
Clear concentrated fruit, complexity and balance in 13.6% alcohol makes a perfect dining companion. The 2011 vintage was especially cool for Napa Valley, but then it's always cool in Carneros. Unforgiving rains at harvest made for tremendous extra work sorting, though gratefully we had achieved optimal ripeness after a good long hangtime. Being a small producer, friends came along and we literally shook every vine before picking to remove berries ravaged by botrytis--and sorted some more at the winery. Rich stone fruit flavors laced with signature Virage minerality. 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. Reviews are in - 92 by W&S!! WE recommendation coming in Nov issue....
2010 Virage Bordeaux Blend
A rich, dense 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... 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 in August and September, which for us --once we snipped away the sunburn & 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.
2015 tasting update: time in decanter brings out the dark, chocolatey richness. Cheers!
2014 Virage Dry Rose
Bracing, direct-pressed rosé packs a punch of flavor--tangerine, passionfruit, peach with signature Virage minerality. Crisp and refreshing, with a zesty, mouthwatering finish. As always, we grow cabernet franc specifically for rosé, timing the harvest to capture natural crisp acids and the bright orange-pink fruit character we love in dry rosé. After destemming, the crushed grapes macerate a few hours to extract a bit of color and aromatic nuance from the skins before separating the juice to ferment completely dry in cool conditions. Virage Rosé fans will find this vintage similar to 2012 in weight and flavor intensity. We picked wee riper than the very delicate 2013 vintage, ironically at the guidance of a French winemaking consultant newly arrived in Napa from Provence! 465 cases produced.
NOTE: Young rosé benefits from aerating (decant and back does the trick, after well-chilled) to open up the fruit and full complex of flavors.
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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