2017 Verite Le Desir
2017 Verite Le Desir 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.
Jess Jackson (1930–2011) was already the founder of one of the most successful family-owned wine companies in the United States when he met Pierre Seillan during a visit to France in the 1990s.
A true visionary, Jackson’s lengthy career, which spanned more than 30 years, was driven by a passion for producing extraordinary wine from California’s best vineyards. Jackson had longed to create a wine that would be just as good as the world’s best wines and was confident that the terroir in Sonoma County had that potential.
A friendship developed between the Jackson family in California and the Seillan family in Bordeaux. When Pierre Seillan visited California in 1997, he too saw the potential and did not hesitate when Jackson asked him to come to Sonoma County to realize this dream together. And so, Vérité was born.