95 Insider Points
Rich fig nose with a dash of umami. Full bodied, showing raspberry, cassis, blueberry, coffee bean and pomegranate with excellent balance. Drinking in its window now through 2025. 95 Points - JZ Sept '18
56% Cabernet Franc with 42% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon
This red from boutique producer Virage is now in the absolute sweetest of spots—giving collectors and Napa Cab lovers alike a rare taste of instant gratification perfection!
A quote from the winemaker, "Quite a challenging vintage, due to severe heat strikes (105-110F, even in Carneros) late in the season after a long cool Spring and Summer. We were all pulling leaves to ensure ripening, and weather once again had the final word = sunburn. At Virage, one determined winemaker spent literally two straight weeks snipping away, by hand, the sunburn & raisins on exposed fruit in the vineyards. And we had a shaker table to sort out raisins (sugar bombs!) What got fermented were the 'hearts' of those luscious clusters, bringing a warm glow from an added layer of ripeness."
This supple, complex blend of 56% Cabernet Franc, 42% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon is incredibly expressive, featuring flavors of pomegranate, dark plum and black cherry layer with tobacco, mint, and graphite. It’s richly layered with a plush texture and deep black-fruit flavors, finishing long with espresso and bittersweet chocolate notes. Drink alone for maximum effect.
· Winemaker Emily Richer is joined at Virage by consultant Aaron Pott of Quintessa, one of Napa’s top producers of Bordeaux-inspired blends.
· Unusual, to be sure, Virage is exclusively focused on Right Bank-style wines--blends based predominantly on Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
From the winery:
Sultry aromas prepare the palate for uncommon depth of flavor. Bright cherry mingles with black fruit, plum, and mint, anchored by earthy elements of espresso and graphite. Elegant and balanced. Time in decanter develops the plush texture, showing Cabernet Franc's 1000 threadcount tanin structure. Bittersweet cocoa and mouth-watering minerality linger in the persistent finish.
*invino maintains excellent cellaring conditions, and strives to sell every bottle in pristine condition. As is standard industry practice, any wine purchased over seven vintage years old, is sold "as is" and may not be returned for any reason.
From the winery:
Virage, a French word meaning 'bend in the road' and 'change in perspective” reflects both our vineyard location, in the cooler northeast corner of Napa Carneros, and a change in winemaking orientation—away from focus on one grape variety, toward a balanced blend that expresses its place, reminiscent of the great wines of the Right Bank of Bordeaux.
A very dinner friendly wine! This will pair with any red meat dish, and the more rare, the better! Try it with a rare steak with some seasoning that is not to overpowering.