MUSE VINEYARDS Clio 2012
Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
92 Points | “Highly Recommended”
2012 is the fourth vintage bottling of Muse Vineyards’ flagship Bordeaux varietal blend, “Clio,” and a composition of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec — all estate grown. It presents an appealing balance of fruit and earth, with aromas of macerated blackberry, grilled tomato, and violet that segue into flavors of fresh-picked black cherry, fig, and poblano pepper — all layered with impressions of bay leaf, cocoa bean, and iron over a lingering, savory finish. The wine is dry, full-bodied, and velvety on the palate, with mild acidity and approachable tannins. Oak is spicy and herbaceous, but well integrated; the wine aged for 24 months in French oak barrels, 40% new and the remainder neutral, and was not fined or filtered. Unlike some other higher-end Virginia wines, Muse does not hide behind new oak; in Muse wines, oak is an accent — a discreet frame around the art — not the dominant trait.
The 2012 Clio is a sophisticated and imminently enjoyable expression of traditional red Bordeaux varieties as grown in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and assembled with meticulous attention to detail by Muse Winemaker Tim Rausse. It is enjoyable now and should drink well over the next several years, and will serve as a versatile food wine. Serve it with medium-to-sharp cheeses, assorted charcuterie, seared filet mignon, cassoulet, venison, and other such hearty fare.
13% ABV | 222 Cases Produced | $35
To read our original introduction to Muse Vineyards, click on the link: “Raising the Bar for Winemaking in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.”
— Scott Hendley