The 1998 vintage, my first vintage of Vérité, was a challenging year. The influence of El Niño from the Pacific Ocean made for a very cold, rainy and wet season. We received almost twice the average amount of rainfall from late October to early June, which pushed bud break into early April and thus made for a challenging flowering. However, it was a great vintage to showcase how pruning, careful vineyard operations and sensitivity to the needs of each micro-cru can create a beautiful wine – even in a challenging year. Harvest took place October 10th through October 26th. – Pierre Seillan, Vigneron
The wine has a high concentration of color, with a dark, deep purple ruby leading to a brilliant amber rim. A remarkable multitude of flavors show through velvety layers of brooding damson plum, bright strawberries and maraschino cherries. Red licorice, mint and roasted meat are held evenly on the mid palate and followed by spiced undertones of cocoa powder, cardamom and vanilla bean. Mature aromas of worn leather and rope, pressed violets and truffles show the beauty of its age. The 1998 La Muse has structure; it both contains and illuminates the complexity of its earth aromas in notes of clay, volcanic rock, silt and iron. A well-integrated tannic mouthfeel matches a silky, expansive texture. A wine of deep presence, the fruit flavors persist on the finish: most notably the strawberries, as if growing wild on forest floors. The expression of earth in the 1998 La Muse fully encompasses the diversity of soils and the careful cultivation by micro-cru that would one day become the winery’s signature. – March 2018
10% Cabernet Sauvignon
It appears to have reached full maturity, but it possesses the density and richness to last another 10-15 years. From a challenging vintage, it reveals a dark plum/garnet color along with a full-bodied nose of coffee, fruitcake, underbrush, forest floor, mocha and chocolate. This outstanding effort is one of the top 1998s from northern California.
Dark, rich and chocolaty, with black cherry and blackberry fruit that’s deep and concentrated. Gains complexity with mineral, cedar, coffee and tarry notes, turning dry and tannic. Best from 2002 through 2010.