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Wine Advocate-Parker : 100p
The 2013 La Muse, like all of the 2013s, comes about one-third from Alexander Valley vineyards, 40-plus percent from Chalk Hill, and the rest Knights Valley and Bennett Valley - all high-elevation hillside vineyards. A blend of 89% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec at 14.3% alcohol, the wine is amazingly like a great vintage of Petrus, with mulberry, black cherry, licorice, truffle and unctuous, thick, juicy fruit all present in this full-bodied masterpiece. The tannins are still present. The wine has purity and savory presence and is remarkable. The finish goes on for well past a minute. This wine would probably benefit from 5-8 years of bottle age and last 40-50 years.
Three wines are made. La Muse is the Pomerol in the lineup, based on 82-92 percent Merlot depending on the vintage, with the balance of Cabernet Franc and just a dash of Cabernet Sauvignon. La Joie is the Pauillac blend, built on 64-75 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and therefore a bit more structured, whereas the Le Désir is the Saint Emilion in the trio, a lovely wine where Merlot and Cabernet Franc make up around 80-85 percent of the blend, most often in relatively equal parts.
All wines are crafted in more or less the same way, vinified in small lots and then transferred into brand new French oak barrels to spend 14-16 months including the time for malolactic fermentation. They are all bottled without fining or filtration.
An elegant, rich and complex red from Sonoma County
From 4 different vineyards (Alexander Valley, Bennett Valley, Chalk Hill and Knights Valley) with volcanic soils, varying altitudes and vines that are the same age (approximately 25 for Alexander Valley, 11 for Bennett Valley, 15 for Chalk Hill and 20 for Knights Valley), "Muse" from Verite is a red produced in the Sonoma County appellation of California. The wine is matured in new French oak barrels, for 15 months (on average). "Muse" 2013 is a blend of 89% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec.
"Muse" 2013 from Verite presents a beautiful deep red colour. The nose develops rich and spicy aromas, with notes of undergrowth. Flavours of truffle, liquorice and cherry are present in the mouth. The finish is long and persistent with elegant tannins. A wine known for its complex energy. To be enjoyed throughout 2034-2044.
Napa Valley Harvest 2013 Report
A seamless year of steady weather and optimal ripening brings in above average yields and excellent quality fine wine grapes
10/22/2013 - St. Helena, CA: The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) reports that the region’s winemakers expect to be done with the 2013 harvest within the next week. “Early, even and excellent” are three words being used to describe this year’s growing season and the Napa Valley wine grapes that have come from it, reflecting the consistent quality for which this world famous wine region is known.
A warm, dry spring brought early bud break, helped with canopy vigor and berry size and created ideal conditions for flowering and fruit set under sunny skies. With the exception of one heat spike in late June/early July, temperatures were consistently in the zone for optimal vine activity, resulting in notably healthy vines as fruit went through veraison and started ripening.
The August 1 start of harvest was the earliest in recent history. White wine grapes came in at a furious pace throughout that month, moving on to lighter reds by early September. Two brief mid-September rains had virtually no impact on the grapes. The vast majority of the more delicate skinned grapes had already been harvested and sunny weather with breezes followed the rains, allowing for the mostly Cabernet Sauvignon that remained to dry out almost immediately. The cooler, sunny weather throughout October allowed the final grapes still on the vine to linger longer, developing more phenolic and flavor maturities with sugar levels remaining steady.
As this harvest comes to a close, it is about two weeks earlier than other Napa Valley harvests in the last decade. Yields on the whole have been above average.
“In a nutshell, this vintage has given us the extraordinary gift of enabling us to pick exactly what we wanted, when we wanted, at perfect ripeness and ideal hang time,” noted Paul Colantuoni, winemaker at Rocca Family Vineyards.
Winemakers from around the valley agree the 2013 vintage holds exceptional promise and potential and exceeded expectations following on the heels of 2012 – another year that has been described as “nearly perfect.”