This is based on samples supplied by the winery or another organization on their behalf.

 

 

2012 Murrieta’s Well the Whip (White Blend)

2011 Murrieta’s Well Los Tesoros White Meritage

2011 Murrieta’s Well the Spur (Red Blend)

 

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Murrieta’s Well was named after the legendary bandito Joaquin Murrieta.  Joaquin roamed California during the Gold Rush era rounding up wild cattle and horses.  He would then “drive” them down to Mexico to sell to the Mexican Army.  The bubbling artesian well on the site that now is the winery was one of his popular watering spots on his journeys.  More information on this historical location is available on the Historical Marker database.

 

With a deeply rooted history, unsurpassed terroir and rich winemaking heritage, Murrieta’s Well is one of California’s original treasures.  The 92-acre Estate was originally propagated by Louis Mel in 1883 with vineyard cuttings from Chateau d’Yquem and Chateau Margaux.  During the same era, he built a gravity-flow winery into the hillside adjacent to the property’s artesian well.  In 1990, Philip Wente and Sergio

Traverso realized a lifelong dream to revive the historic property, and since then, the two have been crafting Estate blends that highlight the best attributes of the terroir.

 

Murrieta’s Well is part of Wente Family Estates along with Wente Vineyards and Tamás Estates.  The winery produces approximately 12,000 cases a vintage

 

Much more of the winery’s history and additional information on these wines and others are available on their website.   The winery also has a Wine Club with nice discounts and other benefits.  Additional information is available here.

 

 

The lineup for this tasting:

Murrietas Well Lineup

 

I didn’t know what to expect from these wines since this was a new winery for me.  The White Meritage was a straight forward white Bordeaux blend but the Whip and the Spur were fairly exotic blends, especially The Whip, which is a white blend.

 

All three wines were very good and distinctive and would be a welcome addition to anyone’s dinner table.  The white blend, The Whip, would also make a nice afternoon or evening sipper on a warm day.

 

 

 

2012 Murrieta’s Well the Whip (White Blend) – SRP $19

This wine is an unusual blend of 43% Chardonnay, 15% Gewurztraminer, 13% Sauvignon Blanc, 9% Orange Muscat, 8% Viognier, 5% Pinot Blanc, 4% Semillon, and 3% Muscat Canelli.  The blend for this wine changes every vintage.  This is closed with a screw cap.

 

There were 277 barrels produced of this wine.  The alcohol level in the wine is a low octane 13%, perfect to sip on a warm afternoon.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a pale straw color with some yellow highlights.  This is like a fruit salad in a glass on the nose with melon, apples, orange, spice, honey, white peach, green leafy herbs, figs, and a big floral component.  This has medium body, a touch of sweetness, and nice closing acidity.  This is rich and luscious on the palate with sweet fruit and spice balanced by some nice acidity that kicks in on the back end.  The finish has good length and is a continuation of the balanced fruit, spice, and citrusy acidity from the palate.  I would have liked a touch more acidity but this would be a nice wine to sip on a warm afternoon.  (89 pts)

2012 Murrieta's Well The Whip

 

 

 

2011 Murrieta’s Well Los Tesoros White Meritage Livermore Valley – SRP $28

This wine is a blend of 63% Sauvignon Blanc and 37% Semillon.  The wine was fermented in a combination of French and Eastern European oak and was barrel aged for 11 months.

 

This small lot wine is available only at the winery or online.  The final alcohol level is 13.4%.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light straw color.  The fresh and exciting nose has melons, spice, fresh cut grass, earthy minerals, toast, white pepper, lemon zest, vanilla bean, and a big floral note.  This has medium body, tart acidity, and seems to be bone dry.  On the palate this opens with a big herbal and melon component with minerals, vanilla bean, and a toasty note entering the picture fairly quickly, followed by a jolt of lemony acidity.  This has a long, lingering finish with nice citrus, herbs, and minerals seeming to linger forever.  This was my favorite wine of the tasting and would show well against its French peers.  (92 pts)

2011 Murrieta's Well Los Tesoros White Meritage Livermore Valley

 

 

 

2011 Murrieta’s Well the Spur (Red Blend) – SRP $25.00

This wine is a blend of 31% Petite Sirah, 29% Petit Verdot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec, and 5% Cabernet Franc.  Like the Whip, the Spur is closed with a screw cap.

 

Each varietal was fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged for 14 months in a combination of American, French, Eastern European, and neutral oak barrels.

 

There were 425 barrels of the wine produced and the final alcohol level is 13.5%.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice ruby red color.  The nose is big, dark, and serious with smoke, loamy earth, berries, black cherries, minerals, plums, black pepper, licorice, dried herbs, and some underbrush.  This has medium body, soft to moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the berries, smoke, and earthy elements hit first with plums and dried herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has decent length and closes with a big dash of black pepper.  To me, this seems to need some cellar time.  I think with six months to a year in the cellar the wine will add some weight, the finish will fill out, and some complexity will develop.  At present, this is enjoyable but there seems to be “more under the hood” than it is showing today, give this one 6 months and check back at that time.  (90 pts)

2011 Murrieta's Well The Spur

 

 

 

 

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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!