Vie, a small urban winery located in San Francisco, 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 that reflect their terroir. We review Vie’s recent releases below.
Todd Seaver, who joined the operation in 2005 as assistant winemaker, today serves as head winemaker. All the wines reviewed here like those in the previous release are well-made and exemplary Rhone-style wines. They offer good depth and intensity of flavor, noteworthy texture, and excellent balance and acidity for aging. Syrah is this winery’s top variety, and in this selection of new releases there are three different style Syrahs to choose from.
Vie wines are not widely distributed so readers are recommended to contact the winery for purchases.
Vie 2013 Roussanne Lake County ($29) 88 The Roussanne displays aromas of dried herbs, almond and ripe pear. It is soft and round on the palate with moderate flavors of caramel and apricot and a short finish. Vie 2014 Belle-Amie Rosé Santa Barbara County ($18) 88 The 2014 Belle-Aime is a full-bodied Syrah based rosé with about equal parts of Grenache and Mourvedre. It offers aromas of cherry, strawberry and rhubarb. It is fresh, crisp and spicy with good acidity and a persistent finish. Vie 2012 Mourvedre L’ Intruse North Coast ($39) 90+ The 202 Mourvedre L’ Intruse offers enticing aromas of red fruit. It is soft on the attack and reveals lovely red fruit flavors and toasted oak. This is a lighter style Mourvedere but is full of red fruit flavors and hints of herbs. Aged 18 months in neutral oak. Vie 2012 Syrah Las Madres Vineyard Los Carneros ($39) 92 The Syrah Las Madres displays aromas of spicy blackberry with chocolate aromas. It is soft and gentle on the attack and has a lush palate showing meaty and somewhat wild concentrated flavors. Quite gamey with hints of toasted oak, it has good length and richness. Vie 2012 Syrah Thompson Vineyard Santa Barbara County ($45) 91 The Syrah Thompson Vineyard is fruit forward in character combining red berry and blackcurrant fruit on the nose. It has a silky palate and layered flavors but is less expressive of its terroir than Las Madres. The tannins are firm and dry and the finish somewhat short. Vie 2012 Syrah White Hawk Santa Barbara County ($45) 91 The Syrah White Hawk offers a fragrant, dark red fruited nose. It is silky soft on the attack and palate followed by fruit forward and layered flavors of rich blackberry, chocolate, and a hint of mesquite. It has good acidity and overall freshness and a pleasant finish.