Last week I had the great pleasure to visit with Monique and Hélène Seillan at Vérité in Sonoma County. (Pierre was in Bordeaux so I will have to catch up with him soon to continue our conversation on wine and rugby.)
Arriving at Vérité with the anticipation of tasting the trio of world-class wines here is cause for joy but I was graced with a look and taste of four other wines in the family’s portfolio.
Here are my quick thoughts on the wines we sampled:
Chateau Vignot St.-Émilion Grand Cru 2007 – The nose is filled with notes of earth, brown spice, oak, leather, and hints of cedar. The palate is in agreement delivering a tight but ripe core of dark fruits with fine tannins. (75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon)
Lassègue St.-Émilion Grand Cru 2005 – The aromatics are rich and fruit driven with layers of red and black fruits with loads of plum and cherry supported by a complex spice and oak blend. This is a massive wine with a complexity and intensity that nearly defies description. I will present my full review of this great wine next week. (60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon)
Arcanum IGT Toscana (Super Tuscan) 2008 – The nose leaps from the glass with bold, bright ripe cherry, raspberry, and plum with classic Tuscan tart berry notes supported by fresh herbs, wild flowers, oak, and hints of vanilla. (77% Cabernet Franc, 17% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon)
Cenyth Red Sonoma County 2010 – This is Hélène Seillan’s wine made in conjunction with her father. This represents the lifelong mentorship of father to daughter developing skills and honing of a great palate. While Hélène led us through the entire flight of seven wines with care it was touching to watch her carefully, almost nervously, check and re-check the wine just before we tasted. It was one of those great moments when pride and passion are on display and equal proportions.
The Merlot-based wine is wonderfully fragrant with ripe red and black fruits met by a complex melange of brown baking spices with a hint of pepper and a clever use of wood. This is an ultra balanced wine with style and grace that is a hybrid style of Bordeaux meeting Sonoma. (54% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon)
Vérité 2011 Wines
Vérité La Muse – (89% Merlot, 7% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Franc) It’s beautifully perfumed with rich red and black fruits supported by notes of forest floor, oak, cocoa, fresh herbs (sage to mint and touch of rosemary). The core is bold and juicy with bright acid and great length.
Vérité La Joie – (74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot, 6% Petite Verdot, 3% Malbec) This is a big and massive wine as the color is dense veering toward black. The nose is filled with sweet, ripe red and black fruits with graphite, earth, toasted wood, brown spices, dried mushrooms, and cloves. Round and supple on the palate being a true hybrid of styles of French and Sonoma.
Vérité Le Désir – (54% Cabernet Franc, 36% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec,) This wine displays a wonderful fruit profile featuring ripe black plum and blackberry with tart cranberry and sweet blueberry supported by notes of wild flowers, earth, mushroom, fresh herbs, and spice. It’s rich and multilayered with a long, lingering finish that sticks with you for minutes.
Thanks a million Monique and Hélène for a tremendous visit.