The myth perpetrated by Old World wine proponents is that California wines don’t age. Those critics need to taste Verité, because these wines are aging far slower than I imagined. The 2005 La Muse, a blend of 88% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and the rest Malbec, tips the scales at 14.5% alcohol and spent 18 months in 100% new French oak. Incredibly youthful, this wine has an opaque purple color and a beautiful nose of espresso roast, white chocolate, blackberry and cassis, with mocha and a touch of oak. The wine is full-bodied, with magnificent structure, texture and density. I could drink it now. That said, most consumers should give this wine another 3-4 years, and drink it over the following 30+ years. (RP)
Bright, moderately saturated medium ruby. Soil-driven aromas of licorice, cracked pepper, bitter chocolate, espresso and crushed rock are lifted by lavender and violet high notes. Juicy, spicy, penetrating flavors of red and purple fruits, flowers and minerals. Not a fat or particularly fleshy style but boasts lovely clarity and energy and a milk-chocolatey ripeness. This impeccably balanced, soil-driven wine finishes firmly tannic and long but not at all dry. (ST)
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