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Virage 2010 'Bordeaux Blend' Napa Valley Red

Virage 2010 'Bordeaux Blend' Napa Valley Red

Well done.
Robert Whitley
dryness
acidity
tannin
body
fruit
WRO 93
Well done.
Robert Whitley

Mission Codename The right turn

Wine Advocate: 2010 Napa Valley, An Epic Vintage “Fans of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon will find a lot get excited about with the 2010 vintage. The 2010s are magnificent, viscerally thrilling wines loaded with character and personality.”

Holy WOW. This hit all the right notes at a recent tasting. MEGA PINT worthy. So good we might start making signs saying “Right Bank Blends Matter” to stage a demonstration on the 3rd street bridge in downtown Napa. People need to know about this.

Then we saw the price. Made the calls and boom, DEAL SEALED.

Here’s the truth. Sometimes we get a sample with some age, and it’s just tired. The fruit, gone like Draymond Green in game 3. Oxidized. Just unpleasant all around.

Not this one.

Virage does one thing really well - making Right Bank style blends. This comprises 56% Cabernet Franc, 42% Merlot and the balance is Cabernet Sauvignon. They work with Hyde (!) and Beau Terroir vineyards down in Carneros. Carneros MERLOT? Oh yes. Carneros puts out some incredible Merlot. Arietta, HdV, Keenan, Duckhorn, Truchard, and good old Cuvaison all serve as proof. The rest comes from Komes Ranch, a Rutherford hillside, and Soda Canyon Ranch on Atlas Peak, providing extra oomph and minerality. Talk about PRIME Napa Valley fruit.

Emily Richer got her start as a chef in Napa before consulting for years at Quintessa, Robert Mondavi, Rudd Estate, and more. She credits Michael Havens for inspiration, and Aaron Pott for much of her influence, as they worked closely together at Quintessa. And Jean Hoefliger (of Alpha Omega, AXR) who taught her the art of blending – for which he took over from Pott with this 2010 vintage. This obsessive approach to everything from the vineyard sources to the final winemaking steps shows.

At 12 years this is going STRONG. Black Luxardo cherries and various secondary and tertiary notes form a distant backdrop. Ripe and dried plums intertwine with cassis, herbs, and mineral nuances, within the seemingly sweet and ultra-round tannin profile. It dances a lengthy ballet on the impressive finish, perfectly melding elements of Bordeaux with distinctive Napa Valley depth.

Finally, we love seeing a boatload of great reviews on CellarTracker. That is after all, where a host of incredibly picky, and particularly discerning wine geeks gather to share honest critiques of wine. And the last 10 reviews for this one (many from recent months) testify to the quality: “In a beautiful place. Rich, but not heavy…” “Remarkably balanced and elegant while giving up nothing in complexity…” “Very classy wine, old school at heart but with modern cleanliness and purity.”

Not much is made of these wines. We secured what was left. For now, at least…

93 Points – Robert Whitley, WRO

“Drop this vintage of Virage into a blind tasting and my guess is most wine enthusiasts, even the experts, would peg it for a Bordeaux. In that sense, Emily Richer’s “Right Bank” project is a mission accomplished. She has embraced the model of St. Émilion, where Cabernet is difficult to ripen and thus Merlot and Cabernet Franc rule, to produce a superb Bordeaux-style blend with two grapes that often don’t get the respect they deserve, especially in California. This vintage exhibits the telltale herbal, savory nuance of Cab Franc, but on the palate, it seems the Merlot takes over with aromas of plum and red currant. There is a light touch of spicy oak, and the tannins are firm, but this wine has every right to improve over the next decade or so. Well done.”

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What the Winery Says 2010 'Bordeaux Blend' Napa Valley Red

Virage
Virage
Consulting winemakers
Aaron Pott, Jean Hoefliger
Winemaker
Emily Richer
Varietals
56% Cabernet Franc, 42% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage
2010
Alcohol
14.8%
Appellations
Carneros, Rutherford & Atlas Peak, Napa Valley
Vineyards
Hyde, Beau Terroir, Komes Ranch, Soda Canyon Ranch
Total acidity
6.7 g/L
pH
3.51
Aging
22 months
Barrels
100% French oak: 50% new

About the Winery Virage

Virage Winemaker Emily Richer
Virage Winemaker Emily Richer
Virage 2010 'Bordeaux Blend' Napa Valley Red 750ml Wine Bottle
Offer Expired Jun 14, 2022 at 11:59 pm
$00.00
Price Redacted
$74.00
Elsewhere
Virage 2010 'Bordeaux Blend' Napa Valley Red 750ml Wine Bottle
Offer Expired Jun 14, 2022 at 11:59 pm
$00.00
Price Redacted
$74.00
Elsewhere