Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Beau Vigne Napa Valley Proprietary Red

Beau Vigne Napa Valley Proprietary Red for elegant refined casual sipping on holiday

For our getway week at our Destiny East Cove vacation rental in Destin, FL, we took several wines from our cellar, along with some artisan cheeses, to enjoy during our week away including this Beau Vigne Napa Valley Proprietary Red.

We acquired this wine directly from the producer as it is not available in distribution in our hometown Chicagoland marketplace. It is available, however at Total Wine the super merchant stores on the east coast from Florida, including the nearest store in Pensacola, to Connecticut, as well as various Midwest cities including Indianapolis.

While best enjoyed with a grilled beefsteak, this was fabulous casual sipping with a selection of artisan cheeses. 

We first wrote about this wine when we received our shipment from the producer last fall in this featured blogpost - Beau Vigne Reserve Proprietary Red Wine.

Beau Vigne Reserve Proprietary Red Wine 2013

This producer first caught my attention when buddy Bob brought it to our Pour Boys OTBN - "Open-That-Bottle-Night" 2022 in Charleston and I pegged it as WOTN - Wine of the Night, my personal favorite. Bob picked up the bottle at his local Total Wine beverage superstore in Boca Raton Town Center. I saw the label when there and also at the new Total Wine in Indy.

So, when son Ryan got their wine club promotional mailing and shared it I was eager to pick up a mixed case of their Signature Series Bordeaux varietals including this aged vintage release from their library close-out. My shipment just arrived and I was eager to try this. It did not disappoint.

Beau Vigne (pronounced bo-veenya), was founded by Ed and Trish Snider with their first vintage release in 2002. Translated from French it means beautiful vineyard in French.

Ed’s family has a long history in Napa Valley dating back to his Swiss Italian grandfather Martin Garzoli who arrived in Napa in 1913. He grew up on a ranch in Carneros and worked on farms in Napa and Sonoma. Martin made his own wines at home in the evenings. His son John Garzoli played for the San Francisco 49ers in 1955 and went on to coach football at St. Helena High School in the center of Napa Valley where children of many vintners attended school. A number of Ed’s former students are now in the wine industry.

In 2018, they sold Beau Vigne to Don Dady and Jason Kyle from Arizona. Jason was a former NFL football player, a long snapper for five different teams including the San Francisco 49ers. In addition to his wine interests, Jason is co-owner of Press Coffee Roasters with locations in Arizona.  Partner Dady is co-founder of Annexus, a financial company in Scottsdale and also owns Seven Apart Winery in Napa Valley just north of the city of Napa. 

Beau Vigne sourced fruit for their estate wines from their 10 acre Stags Ridge Vineyard at the top of Soda Canyon Road on the slopes of Atlas Peak at about 1650 feet elevation. The site was planted to 8 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and an acre each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Ed sold the vineyard and it is now a part of Seven Apart Winery’s estate. Beau Vigne continues to source grapes from there and other premium vineyards in Napa Valley.

Since 2019, Beau Vigne has partnered with Appellation Trading Company to distribute Beau Vigne as part of their portfolio of brands. 

Over the years, Beau Vigne has been crafted by several highly regarded Napa Valley winemakers. Their founding winemaker was Dave Phinney who went on to develop several successful brands, most notably, Orin Swift Cellars and the Prisoner portfolio of wines. One of our favorite winemakers, Kirk Venge of Venge Vineyards has also crafted Beau Vigne wines. Today the winemaker is Julien Fayard.

Originally from France, Julien began his career as a winemaker producing quality rosé at his family’s winery in Provence. He worked at legendary Chateaux Lafite Rothschild and Smith Haut Laffite in Bordeaux before relocating to Napa Valley where he was Philippe Melka’s director of winemaking for a few years before setting out on his own.

Julien earned his Master in Agri-Business from ESA France and his Master in Winemaking from Toulouse France. In 2011, he received his MBA from UC Davis. 

Recently, Beau Vigne became part of a select collection of vintners represented at Vintner’s Collective, the city of Napa’s oldest collective tasting room. They showcase wines from an elite group of premier Napa Valley producers who do not have their own tasting rooms. Select bottlings and vintages of Beau Vigne are available for tasting and purchased there. 

Beau Vigne bottles wines under three different brands; the Legacy Series, the Signature Series and the Discovery Series.

Beau Vigne Reserve Proprietary Red Napa Valley 2013

This 2013 is a Blend of Bordeaux varietals, 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc. The producer cited it amongst the best wines Beau Vigne had made to date. That says a lot since Robert Parker awarded the 2013 Beau Vigne "Cult" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 96 points in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. He also awarded the Beau Vigne Reserve Cabernet from this vintage a stellar perfect 100 points.

Winemaker notes: "When tasted, it was still locked and loaded. Dense and dark, with notes of soil incense, violets, black cherry and black raspberry elements are also still present. The wine is full-bodied, opulent, with great vigor and delineation. This is a sensational example what happens after nine years in the bottle."

The Beau Vigne Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from this vintage, the same fruit that forms the foundation for this blend, was awarded 100 points by Robert Parker. 

Parker wrote about that wine: "Profound, with a stunning aromatic display of blue and black fruits, charcoal, graphite, and spring flowers. The wine has a flawless entry and mouthfeel, with a full-bodied density, opulence and an incredible finish of close to a minute."

He also awarded the 2013 Beau Vigne "Cult" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 96 points in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate . That wine too contains the same Cabernet Sauvignon as in this blend. That blend contained 98:2% while this one is 70:30. Parker wrote of that wine: "Similarly styled is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Cult, which is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. The biggest cuvée of any of these wines, the color is blackish/purple as a moonless night. It offers fabulous fruit and incredible density and richness, with lots of camphor, blackberry and cassis fruit, hints of espresso bean and chocolate as well as some background oak. This is a big, full-throttle, savory style of wine that should age effortlessly for 20-25+ years (RP)."

As a blend of the same fruit as those wines, it has a similar profile. Dark blackish purple colored, full bodied, dense, rich concentrated black fruits accented by a layer of camphor that initially may be a bit unnerving to some, with notes of cassis, expresso and dark bitter mocha with some graphite and oak on the full lingering finish. 

RM 92 points.