VIE us a small urban winery located in San Francisco. It was started in 2004 by winemaker, Bryan Kane with the support of a small group of friends. It crafts Rhone style wines and Zinfandel from grapes sourced from outstanding vineyards throughout California. It follows Old World winemaking techniques with the aim of producing high quality wines which reflect their terroir. Todd Seaver who joined the operation in 2005 as assistant winemaker, today serves as head winemaker. All the wines reviewed here white, rosé and red are well-made and exemplary Rhone-style wines and Zinfandel. They offer good depth and intensity of flavor, noteworthy texture, and excellent balance and acidity for aging.
Winery Phone (415) 756-1791
VIE 2011 Roussanne Lake County ($29) 89 This 100% Roussanne displays an attractive yellow-gold color and fragrant aromas of white flowers and stone fruit. On the palate, it reveals ripe yellow fruit flavors with light viscosity, richness of texture, and persistence on the finish. Well done.
VIE 2012 “Belle-Aime” Rosé Wine Santa Barbara County ($18) 89 The “Belle-Aime” is a dry rosé made primarily from Mourvèdre and small amounts of Grenache and Syrah. Bright ruby in color, it offers aromas of dried strawberry and cherry. On the palate it is fresh tasting and crisp with persistent fruit flavors, herbal notes and a dry finish.
VIE Mélange Maison I Old Vines California ($29) 90 The Mélange Maison is an easy drinking GSM of Syrah, Mourvedre and Grenache sourced from vineyards all over California. It is fresh and fruit forward in the glass with dark red fruit flavors, soft round tannins and a pleasant finish. The wine is drinking beautifully now, displaying a velvety texture and delicious fruit.
VIE 2010 Syrah Las Madres Vineyard Los Carneros Sonoma County ($39) 92 The 2010 Syrah Las Madres Vineyard displays an opaque ruby color and aromas of dense red, blue and black fruit and earth. It reveals a big tight structure on the palate with loads of dark fruit flavors, toasted oak and loam. Aged 18 months in French barriques, 25% new, it is beautifully balanced and long lasting and spicy on the finish. This wine should be optimal for drinking within about five years.
VIE 2010 Syrah White Hawk Vineyard Santa Barbara County ($45) 91+ The 2010 Syrah White Hawk Vineyard is a delicious and very approachable wine. It displays fragrant aromas of blue and black berry fruit that are mirrored on the palate. Aged 18 months in French barriques, 25% new, it has a velvet texture, a full lush mouth field, and round silky tannins. The wine is drinking beautifully now with a sweet soft finish, but should also improve further over the next three to five years.
VIE 2010 Zinfandel Beatty Ranch Howell Mountain Napa Valley ($39) 92 VIE’s 2010 Zinfandel Beatty Ranch displays a medium ruby color and aromas of dark red berry fruit and toast. It is soft and spicy on the palate with ripe red cola flavors. Aged 20 months in French barriques, 25% new, it is full and velvet smooth on the palate, with good intensity of flavors, soft firm tannins and a long finish. A delicious wine that is drinkable now but could benefit from one to two years of aging to soft the tannins and round out the flavors.
Mike Potashnik and Don Winkler December 2013