Very Good - Wine Enthusiast


A direct-pressed wine, this has a pretty copper-pink color. It is intense in cranberry and subtle herbes de Provence, with notions of fresh-cut grass and tart Meyer lemon. Young, it needs time in the glass to reveal its complexity and range of flavor. The finish is dry and succulent on the palate. --Wine Enthusiast

    Cabernet Franc
  • SIZE

Only 465 cases produced!

Inspired by the great wines of Right Bank Bordeaux, Virage sources from cooler corners of Napa Valley, revealing the depth, complexity, rich structure and smooth texture of optimally-ripened cabernet franc and merlot.

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.


Bracing, direct-pressed rosé packs a punch of flavor--apricot, tangerine, passionfruit, and ruby grapefruit with signature Virage minerality.As always, we grow cabernet franc specifically for rosé, timing the harvest to capture crisp acids and the bright orange-pink fruit character we love in dry rosé. The crushed grapes macerate a few hours to extract a bit of color and aromatic nuance from the skins before pressing to separate the juice to ferment completely dry in cool stainless. 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! 


From the Winery:  To create our "blend in the Right Bank tradition," we began working with growers of cabernet franc and merlot in the northeastern corner of Napa Carneros at Beau Terroir and Hyde Vineyards. Tucked into the tail end of the Mayacamas range, dividing Sonoma Valley and Napa Valley, this hilly corner enjoys cooling afternoon breezes flowing north from the San Pablo Bay funneled through the nooks and min-valleys within the foothills, yet is well-sheltered from the colder ocean winds flowing onshore and through the "Petaluma Gap" to the west. Those fierce winds blast the lower unprotected areas of Carneros, keeping chardonnay and pinot noir nice and cool and crisp for sparkling wine production. In this protected pocket, ripening grapes enjoy not only lower afternoon temperatures compared to "upvalley" appellations, but also warmer nights from close proximity to San Pablo Bay, just a few miles to the south. Remember that on hot days, sugars accumulate rapidly and acids drop in the berries. To our way of thinking, these more temperate sites provide ideal conditions for harvesting at optimal ripeness, to achieve full depth of flavor at lower sugar levels, maintaining natural acidity that gives wine its sense of life on the palate. A long, slow maturation builds character! Complex, supple wines with layered flavors and a mouth-watering finish. We love the generous aromatics of ripe cabernet franc, rounded by the dark chocolatey richness of deeply-structured merlot. Lastly, the soils at the primary site, commonly found at higher elevations on Mt. Veeder, foster in both varietals a lovely thread of minerality --a signature character of all Virage wines.