Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
These are the visionary efforts of the recently deceased Jess Jackson, one of the great men in California’s history of high quality winemaking. Verite was started in 1998, when Jess Jackson brought over Bordelais winemaker Pierre Seillan, and essentially gave him carte blanche authority to pick the best fruit he could to fashion these three cuvees. La Muse is his verison of a Pomerol, made from Jess Jackson’s high-elevation vineyards in Alexander Valley, Knights Valley and Chalk Hill, the La Joie is his Medoc look-alike from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and of course, Le Desir is a Sonoma clone of a St.-Emilion, made generally from high quantities of both Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with just a little Cabernet Sauvignon in them. These wines are the epitome of natural wine, aged 24-32 months in new French oak, with wood staves selected by Jackson and his team in France, and the wines then bottled unfined and unfiltered. There’s no acidification, no additional concentration by reverse osmosis, and obviously no water added. The production of each cuvee runs between 1,500 and 2,000 cases. According to Pierre Seillan, the aim was to produce wines capable of lasting 25, or in some cases, even 40+ years, and based on the three vertical tastings I did of all the cuvees made to date, the great vintages will certainly attain that potential longevity.