Vérité Le Désir 2017
|Region||California, Sonoma County|
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.
Lastly, the 2017 Le Desir is 80% Cabernet Franc, with the balance mostly Merlot mixed with a splash of Malbec. It has a wonderful Cabernet Franc floral character as well as awesome black raspberry, cedarwood, forest floor, violets, rose petals, new leather, and who knows what else. Incredibly complex, it takes lots of air to show at its best and is medium to full-bodied, has a bright spine of acidity, fabulous tannins, and a great, great finish. The elegance of this wine paired with its richness and depth is something to behold. It's another damn near perfect wine from this estate, and to see this quality from a challenging vintage like 2017 boggles the mind. Hats off to the father-daughter team of Pierre and Hélène Seillan.
The 2017 Le Désir is off the charts fabulous and also one of the most compelling wines I have tasted from Vérité. Mocha, chocolate, licorice, leather, menthol, pine and spice soar out of the glass. The 2017 is vertical, heady and extravagantly rich yet not at all overdone, a hugely appealing combination in my book.