Verite 1998 Red Blend
Robert Parker: 92
The 1998 Merlot is an inter-appellation blend of 62% Sonoma and 38% Napa. It is a 2,000-case blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Eighty-five percent of the malolactic was done in barrel and the wine was bottled without any clarification. It is a blockbuster Merlot, and certainly a formidable achievement for 1998. The wine shows a dense black/purple color, an enormous nose of espresso roast, melted chocolate, blackberries, cherries, and sweet truffle/earthy notes. Very full-bodied, astonishingly concentrated, extremely pure, and well-balanced, this is a blockbuster effort that can be drunk now (it has relatively high pH and low acidity) or cellared for 15-20 years. This wine, which Seillan calls "wine without compromise," is aged in 100% new French oak for about 13 months.