VERITE 2018 La Muse Sonoma County

100
Wine Advocate

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100 Points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - A blend of 90% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec, the 2018 La Muse was matured 16 months in 100% new French oak barrels. Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the nose delivers a powerful perfume of cherry pie, blackberry preserves and baked plums, followed by suggestions of red roses, cast-iron pan, underbrush and unsmoked cigars, plus wafts of licorice and oolong tea. Medium to full-bodied, the black fruit and exotic spice layers flow so gracefully over the palate, textured by plush tannins and lifted with seamless freshness, finishing epically long and achingly fragrant. The intensity and complexity of aromas and flavors—all waltzing in captivating harmony—cannot fail to make your head spin in the best possible way. Electrifying!

99 Points Jeb Dunnuck - Checking in as 90% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Malbec that was raised in new French oak, the 2018 La Muse reveals a dense purple hue to go with plenty of black cherry and currant fruits as well as cedar pencil, graphite, dark chocolate, and smoked tobacco. Ripe, full-bodied, and brilliantly balanced on the palate, with both elegance and incredible opulence, it's a hypothetical mix of Châteaux Canon and Lafite. This masterpiece of a Merlot can be drunk any time over the coming 20-30 years. Give bottles an hour in a decanter if drinking any time soon.

98 Points Decanter - Such a pretty nose, floral, redolent also of autumn fruits and damsons, which over time in the glass releases the more oak driven mocha notes. The palate is compact, dense, the tannins are remarkably silky despite the youthfulness, the fruit is intensely ripe but not sweet. The overall impression is one of a circular wine, plush, hedonistic in the making, the flavors still in motion, becoming darker as they progress through the palate. There’s a freshness, a ‘tingle’ almost to the acidity mirroring the earlier picking regime, the efforts taken in the vineyard and at harvest to capture the essential freshness of Sonoma. The wine ends on black liquorice and coffee and the finish is seemingly endless – cut short only by the next wine. It’s a baby for sure.

98 Points James Suckling - One of the most refined and tight Muses with blackberries, milk chocolate, pine needles and hints of dried herbs. Full-bodied, yet so in check with a great finish. It’s seamless and goes on and one. Intellectual, compared to past vintages. 90% merlot with some malbec and cabernet franc. Try after 2026, but attractive now.

96 Points Vinous - The 2018 La Muse, 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec, is floral, elegant and light on its feet for such a rich wine. Hillside vineyards in Chalk Hill, Alexander Valley, Knights Valley and Bennett Valley confer structure and a good bit of savory intensity. The 2018 is full of intrigue, that much is clear.

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