Muse Vineyards’ 2011 “Clio” is third in a lineage of fine Bordeaux varietal blends the winery has been producing on its bucolic Shenandoah Valley estate since 2009. It follows the successes of Muse’s 2009 Clio — the winery’s first release — which was awarded the Virginia Governor’s Cup in 2015; and the 2010 Clio, which the National Wine Review highly recommended at 91 Points this past February. (Click here for that feature review, which includes an overview of the winery).
Like its forbears, the 2011 is a blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot, all grown on the estate overlooking the winding Shenandoah River. While consistent in quality with previous vintages, the 2011 Clio confidently distinguishes itself from them in character. It has somewhat more of an Old World flair, invoking, in particular, the traditional, savory clarets of Bordeaux. On the nose are aromas that suggest violet, sweet-cured tobacco, and bell pepper; and on the palate, notions of fresh-picked blackberry, black tea leaf, and bay leaf — all layered with undertones of clove, dried herbs, and rhubarb. The wine is dry, medium-bodied, and silky smooth, with fine, approachable tannins and moderate acidity. Oak is subtly integrated into the mix; in Bordeaux fashion, the wine aged for 36 months in French oak barriques — half new, half neutral.
The 2011 Clio is yet another fine expression of red Bordeaux varieties as grown in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and crafted with meticulous attention to detail at Muse Vineyards. 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.
Availability: Muse wines are available at the winery, by appointment only, at 16 Serendipity Lane, Woodstock, VA 22664. To arrange an appointment, call them at 540-459-7033. The tasting area is currently located in their small winemaking facility, but Muse is building a new tasting and barrel room among the vineyards that promises to be stunning. It is expected to open to the public at the end of October. Muse also can direct-ship to customers in Virginia, New York, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, and the District of Columbia. To shop online, visit them virtually at www.musevineyards.com. Muse wines are available, as well, at Woodstock Cafe & Shoppes in downtown Woodstock, Virginia.