2012 Verite La Muse

2012 Verite La Muse
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750 ML   USA, California, Sonoma County

  Wine Advocate #221
           Oct 2015
       Robert M. Parker, Jr.           97       Drink: 2015- 2045

The 2012 La Muse, which is 85% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec, is a smaller cuvée of 1,840 cases. The wine has plenty of spice box, cedar wood, Christmas fruitcake and Asian plum sauce, along with black cherry and blackcurrant fruit. Ripe, round, full-bodied and opulent, this is a wine that can be drunk now or cellared for another three decades. Interestingly, the alcohol levels are not all that high in any of these wines, with most of them rarely exceeding 14.3%. 

I suppose the arguments against giving perfect scores far outnumber those for giving them, but after 37 years of tasting just about everything of quality that’s been produced, I believe I’m in a position to recognize truly world-class efforts that are as complete and compelling as good wine can be. And if that’s the case, then why hold back? I realize that it creates possibly unreal expectations among readers, and there is the argument that nothing really is perfect. But if a wine is as good as you think it can be made, then I have no reservations about offering accolades to those rare wines. When one considers the winemaking effort that goes into producing these cuvées of Vérité, from Bordelais Pierre Seillan, the fastidious attention to detail and the use of only the crème de la crème of fruit from some of the finest vineyards in the Jackson family empire, the results are not that surprising. The 2013s are the pinnacle of what Vérité has produced, and probably all wines that will be better at age 25 or 35 than they are showing today, but they are simply the essence of a vineyard site, a vine and a philosophy of no compromise. All of these wines, basically, are aged in 100% new French oak, given 3-4 day cold pre-fermentation, cold macerations, treated like spoiled children during élevage, and bottled with no fining or filtration. The entire philosophy is that La Muse is the Right Bank Pomerol look-alike from Vérité, La Joie the Medoc-like clone, and Le Desir a St.-Emilion in the style of Ausone.

These are legendary wines of great extract, richness and potential of longevity and complexity. No compromises are made and the credit goes certainly to the Jackson family for supporting the efforts of winemaker Pierre Seillan.

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