The 2001 Le Desir (50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Malbec) came from Alexander Valley Mountain Estate fruit (two-thirds), 30% from Chalk Hill and a tiny dollop from Knight’s Valley. The most evolved of these three wines, it exhibits complex notes of spring flowers, underbrush, truffles, forest floor, camphor and red as well as black fruits. It possesses an opulent, full-bodied mouthfeel, fabulous purity and density and a long finish. The finish for all three of these wines lasts for close to a minute. Each represents extraordinary craftsmanship and, essentially, vinous confirmation of the vision of the late Jess Jackson. Those who think too many California wines are over the top may be surprised to know that the 2001 La Muse has a pH of 3.63 and a 'real' natural alcohol of 14.1%. La Joie’s pH is 3.65 and its alcohol is 14.2%, and Le Desir’s pH is 3.68 and its true alcohol level is 14.1%. (RP)
Medium ruby. Aromatic nose combines wild blackberry, Cuban tobacco, chocolate cake, smoke and minerals. Concentrated, lush and impressively sweet, with snappy raspberry and mineral flavors dominating This is kept fresh by harmonious acidity but is also lush, seamless and expansive. Finishes with broad tannins and impressive sweetness and persistence. This St. Emilion-style blend is still very young and may prove to be the best of the 2001 trio made under the Verite label. 93+ (ST)
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