Monday, June 21, 2010

The Friday Lineup: In Vino Verite'

Above top - Verite' winemaker Pierre Seillan shows a list of dozens of "micro-crus" he sources for grapes that go into the three Verite' wines. Center - Seillan at the wheel of his prized 1941 Buick Eight. Bottom - at a celebration reception and dinner at Redwoods, Seillan pours a drop of Verite' for owner Jess Jackson.

Jess Jackson delights in telling the story about giving his partner and premier winemaker, Pierre Seillan, a wake-up call in Bordeaux earlier this year to let Seillan know Robert Parker had given the three 2007 Verite' labels a combined rating of 297 points out of 300 - 98, 99 and 100.

"He was surly when he answered," Jess laughed as he told the story at a celebration reception and dinner on Thursday at the Jackson estate at Redwoods high above Healdsburg in Sonoma County. "It's 4 a.m. here," Jackson said, mimicking the protesting Seillan. "Then I played a guessing game with him with each wine. 'Was it over 95?' Pierre asked. 'You're getting warm'." Finally, Jackson relinguished the three scores - 98 points for the 2007 Le Desir, 99 for the 2007 La Muse and a perfect 100 for the 2007 La Joie.

"I can't go back to sleep," Seillan said. "I need to go for a walk."

"Give me a call when you get back," Jackson chuckled.

The next day, Friday, June 18, I got to enjoy one of the best Friday Lineups I will ever post:

Wines of the Week

2007 Verite' La Muse (99 points). Touch of eucalyptus from somewhere in the nose. Beautiful fruit intensity and lots of soft, pecan-shell tannins. Black raspberry flavors float throught with an underlayer of earthiness and brownie/macaroon cakiness. In spite of the loads of fruit, it finishes with a surprising and excellent leanness. (Merlot dominated blend.)

2007 Verite' La Joie (100 points). Big Cab nose with lots of currants aromas. The flavors fall in the middle purple-fruit range ahead of a bombardment of tannins, that will help ensure a long aging, and a very long finish. Rich and complex wine, very much in the Parker-Rolland sphere. The strength of the wine is straight down the middle of the palate. Touch of forest floor on the undertaste and hints of chalk, though not creamy. (Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend.)

2007 Verite' Le Desir (98 points). Getting 98 points in this lineup is like scoring 15 under par in the Masters only to have Tiger card 20 under. Nose very much like a Pomerol. Still tight, though generally more dimutive than its sisters. Hints of cherry stems (good) and graphite. Lovely finish that beautifully concentrates the fruit and acidity. Also more spice in this one, with nutmeg and other baking spices in the finish. (Cabernet Franc dominated blend.)
Release date is September 1 with La Muse and Le Desir priced at $720 and La Joie at $800.

Until next time...

Roger Morris