Vérité Le Désir 2014
|Region||California, Sonoma County|
Bound by precision, elegance and grace, Le Désir is a Cabernet Franc-based blend that exudes high-toned, exotic aromatics, an iron graphite core and pronounced minerality. It is a complex symphony, at first presenting a quiet force that needs time to unveil its many delicate and mysterious layers.
A blend of 53% Cabernet Franc, 21% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Malbec, the 2014 Le Desir is monumental stuff that has a Château Ausone-like character that’s hard to describe. its vibrant purple color is followed by a to-die-for bouquet of blackcurrants, black raspberries, cedar, tobacco leaf, and charcoal. This gives way to a concentrated, rich, yet incredibly delineated wine that has fine, fine tannin, notable freshness and purity, and a great finish. While blockbuster stuff, it’s for consumers with cold cellars and lots of patience. I’d hide bottles for 7-8 years and it’s going to keep for another 3+ decades.
What was the secret to achieving such impressive ripeness for Cabernet Franc in 2017? Pierre Seillan's daughter and one day successor, Helene, told me: “We make a lot of passes through the Cabernet Franc blocks—more than the other varieties. We drop any fruit that is not ripening at the same pace. We don’t pull out too much leaves, we need those for the ripening.” Blended of 80% Cabernet Franc, 17% Merlot and 3% Malbec, the 2017 Le Désir has a medium to deep garnet-purple color. It comes galloping out of the glass with all the grace and precision of a thoroughbred, sporting notions of kirsch, potpourri, warm plums and wild blueberries plus hints of chocolate box, cardamom and star anise. The medium-bodied palate (just 13.9% alcohol) is at once powerful and wonderfully elegant, with firm, very fine-grained, exquisitely ripe tannins and bold freshness supporting the red and blue fruit layers, finishing with incredible length and depth. Wow! 2,500 cases were made.
"The 2014 Le Désir is the most inward of these 2014s from Vérité. Dark raspberry jam, wild flowers, spice, pencil shavings, mocha, lavender and licorice infuse this deep, powerful, structured Cabernet Franc-based blend. The interplay of dense, sumptuous fruit and aromatic freshness makes for an absolutely compelling wine." (97 pts.)