Virginie Boone

Virginie Boone

Contributing Editor

Reviews wines from California.

Contributing Editor Virginie Boone has been with Wine Enthusiast since 2010, and reviews and reports on the wines of Napa and Sonoma for the magazine. Sonoma-based Boone began her writing career in 1997 with Lonely Planet travel guidebooks, contributing to titles on South America, Northern California, France and America's Deep South. Travel assignments led her to California-focused wine coverage, including regular features for the New York Times regional newspaper Santa Rosa Press Democrat, for which Boone has been a contributing wine writer for several years. She is also the author of Napa Valley and Sonoma: Heart of California Wine Country, and a regular panelist and speaker on wine topics in California and beyond.

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96
points

Joseph Phelps 2011 Insignia Estate Grown Red (Napa Valley)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $225

Impeccable elegance characterizes this vintage of the producer’s marquee Bordeaux-style blend, an expert finessing of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec, 2% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc. Juicy in exotic black fruit, it stands tall, with silky, towering shoulders of herb, cardamom and clove that will coalesce beautifully over time. Hold through 2026.

 — V.B.  (5/1/2015)
95
points

Carlisle 2012 The Derivative White (Sonoma County)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $34

This unusual blend combines old-vine Sémillon from the Monte Rosso Vineyard with Muscadelle and Palomino. Voluptuous on the nose, the wine is restrained on the palate, with inviting layers of licorice, beeswax and stone fruit. Exotic and long lasting, it’s an intriguing wine.

 — V.B.  (5/1/2015)
95
points

Nickel & Nickel 2012 Martin Stelling Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville)

  • Editors' Choice
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $155

One of the producer’s most limited offerings, this 100% Cabernet hails from a 100-acre site on the western edge of Oakville, also the source of Far Niente’s Cabernet. Creamy and mouth-filling from the get-go, with a tannic backbone and structure, it sings in dusty leather and dark cherry, maintaining a fine line between lushness and elegance. On the finish, expect…

 — V.B.  (5/1/2015)
95
points

Paul Hobbs 2012 Edward James Estate Chardonnay (Russian River Valley)

  • Editors' Choice
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $75

Creamy and intoxicating, this barrel-cradled Chardonnay is deeply complex, edgy and mineral-laden. Gravenstein apple and pear headline, with lemon meringue and spicy nutmeg in supporting roles. Although voluptuous and mind-bendingly intense, it finishes lean and crisp, stamping its imprint on the mind and palate.

 — V.B.  (5/1/2015)
94
points

Guarachi Family 2013 Sun Chase Vineyard Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $75

The producer has chosen to highlight the Petaluma Gap region within the larger Sonoma Coast appellation on this wine, a nod to its recent purchase of the well-regarded Sun Chase Vineyard as well as an endorsement of the Gap becoming an appellation of its own one day. This Pinot might help matters, a beautifully floral mix of rose petal and violet on the nose…

 — V.B.  (5/1/2015)
94
points

Far Niente 2012 Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville)

  1. $145

Gentle on the front palate, this gorgeously rendered Cabernet Sauvignon, with smatterings of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, develops weight and body as it goes, while retaining classic restraint. Cherry and cassis counterpoise layers of toasty oak, cedar and silky tannins, finishing balanced.

 — V.B.  (5/1/2015)
94
points

Gary Farrell 2012 Hallberg Vineyard Clone 777 Oak Tank Fermented 17% Whole Cluster Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $65

This wine delivers in flavor and aroma, a refined layering of cherry and strawberry that celebrates what this aromatic clone can do in Russian River Valley. Orange peel and tart, tight acidity combine around a silky texture, with a ginger-spice finish and lingering hint of rose petal.

 — V.B.  (5/1/2015)
94
points

Gary Farrell 2012 Rochioli Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $70

The producer continues to hit it out of the park with this vintage of Pinot, offering a gorgeously balanced interpretation of a marquee vineyard site. Rose petal and lavender aromas evolve into flavors of rosemary, high-toned orange peel, dried cherry and cranberry on the palate, keeping things ethereal throughout. Smooth and medium bodied, the tannins are coy and…

 — V.B.  (5/1/2015)
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