I recently had a chance to join the good folks at Charles Communication along with fifth generation winemaker, Karl Wente, for an interactive virtual tasting that showcased a few newly released wines from Murrieta's Well. Murrieta's Well is a historic winery located in the heart of California’s Livermore Valley. The property, founded in 1883 by Louis Mel, was purchased by the Wente family and resurrected in 1990 by Phillip Wente. Today, Murrieta's Well specializes in sustainably farmed small-lot wines and estate blends that I have found pleasing over the past few years.
With the exception of the White Meritage, a tasting room exclusive, you may be able to find the Spur and the Whip at your local wine shop – so ask around. These two Livermore-grown blends are a good one-two punch to invite to your next backyard barbeque. The white blend makes for a nice aperitif wine while the red blend could saddle up to anything from grilled burgers to baby backs. See my wine reviews below and get some of this Livermore Valley juice in your glass this summer. Drink well my friends. Cheers!
Murrieta's Well The Whip 2012
1) Murrieta's Well The Whip 2012 (SRP $19): This is a refreshing and aromatic kitchen sink white blend (8 grape varieties) composed of 43% Chardonnay, 15% Gewurztraminer, 13% Sauvignon Blanc, 9% Orange Muscat, 8% Viognier, 5% Pinot Blanc, 4% Semillon, and 3% Muscat Canelli. Ripe stone fruit, citrus zest, and white flowers lead the way with lingering orange peel and honeysuckle notes. The aromas extend to the palate with fresh fruit flavors that are balanced by vibrant, food-partnering acidity leading to a fruit-driven medium-length finish. Overall, this is a light, crisp, and bright wine that has summertime sipping written all over it. I enjoyed it on its own tonight and with a roasted garlic white sauce flat bread pizza. (Other info: ABV 13%, screw cap enclosure, 277 barrels produced, stainless/neutral oak fermentation and maturation). Click here to find this wine.
Murrieta’s Well The Spur 2011
2) Murrieta’s Well The Spur 2011 (SRP $25): This is an accessible, fruit forward (kitchen sink) red blend composed of 31% Petite Sirah, 29% Petit Verdot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec, and 5% Cabernet Franc. Dark (red) berry fruit and plum scents start the ball rolling followed by spice, cedar, anise, and toasted cocoa nibs. The aromas echo on the palate with balanced acidity and a round, soft texture leading to a medium-length finish laced with a dusting of black pepper. With the seasonal warmth of summer upon us, this is a nice red to have ready to go when you pull the burgers off of the grill. (Other info: ABV 13.5%, screw cap enclosure, 425 barrels produced). Click here to find this wine.
Murrieta's Well Los Tesoros 2011 White Meritage
3) Murrieta's Well Los Tesoros 2011 White Meritage (SRP $28): This is a tasty blend consisting of 63% Sauvignon Blanc and 37% Semillon that was barrel fermented in a combination of French and Eastern European oak. It shows aromas and flavors of ripe stone fruit, melon, and soft floral notes with a delicate hint of brown spice that’s supported by a good spine of acid. The Semillon provides a touch of weight and richness on the palate while the Sauvignon Blanc delivers a colorful personality and turns the brightness up a notch. When done right, as with this example, these two grape varieties complement each other quite nicely. Approximately 500 cases of this wine were produced. (Other info: Barrel aged for 11 months, ABV 13.4%, cork enclosure). Click here to find this wine.
Fire Up the Grill and Enjoy these Wines!
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