This is based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.



2011 Wente Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Louis Mel Livermore Valley

2011 Wente Vineyards Riesling Riverbank Arroyo Seco

2012 Wente Vineyards Chardonnay Eric’s Small Lot

2010 Wente Vineyards Merlot Sandstone



This is from an online wine tasting in conjunction with an upcoming Front Porch Music Series concert.  More information on Wente Vineyards and their concerts is available on their website.



Wente Vineyards History

Wente Vineyards, founded 130 years ago, is the oldest, continuously operated family owned winery in the country.  The Livermore Valley based facility is owned and managed by the fourth and fifth generations of the family.  The family has approximately 3,000 acres of sustainably farmed vineyards at their disposal.  These grapes are used to create the single grape wines and unique blends the winery has in their diverse portfolio.



In addition to being a world class winemaker, Karl Wente is also a serious musician.  For this special tasting, Karl will be pairing the wines with up and coming indie bands performing during his Front Porch Music Series.  In a way to support emerging talent, Wente Vineyards holds 3 performances at their property every summer featuring local and up and coming bands.  As a prelude to the second concert on August 3rd, Karl will team up with one of the members of the rockin’ Stone Foxes to discuss music and wine pairings.


Note about Stone Foxes: they performed at last year’s music series and based in the region, are big supporters of “homegrown” bands from the Bay Area.  They’ve also performed at the Wente Foundation for Arts Educations Auction.



The line up of wines for this tasting:

Wente Music Series Line up 2




2011 Wente Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Louis Mel Livermore Valley – SRP $15

This is a tank fermented and aged Sauvignon Blanc from the Estate owned vineyards in the Livermore Valley.  The alcohol in this win is 13%.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a light straw color.  The fresh and crisp nose has nice apple, melon, citrus, minerals, and a slight herbal note.  This has light to medium body with crisp, citrusy acidity.  On the palate the orchard fruit and minerals hit first with a nice grassy component and tart citrus kicking in on the back end.  The juicy finish leans on the minerals, herbal notes, and mouthwatering citrus.  This is a very nice, food friendly glass of wine.  The minerality on the nose is like cold rain hitting hot rocks. (89 pts)

Sauvignon Blanc



2011 Wente Vineyards Riesling Riverbank Arroyo Seco – SRP $15

This wine was cold fermented in stainless steel tanks to help highlight the natural fruit flavors in the Riesling grape.  The wine was aged in stainless tanks and there was no malolactic fermentation to help retain the crisp acidity.  The final alcohol is 12%.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a very light straw color with some yellow highlights.  The nose smells like a tropical fruit salad with honey dipped apples, orange blossoms, pineapple, lime zest, grapefruit, minerals, and a nice floral note.  This has medium body, decent acidity, and nice residual sweetness.  On the palate the apples, honey, and lime zest kick off the show with minerals and a touch of mouthwatering grapefruit coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length and closes with some nice lime and good sweetness.  This would work well with spicy food, but would shine on its own on a warm evening.  (88 pts)





2012 Wente Vineyards Chardonnay Eric’s Small Lot – SRP $25

I’m a big fan of stainless steel tank fermented and aged Chardonnay wines that also did not go through malolactic fermentation.  This process lets the fruit and minerality shine through without oak and buttery notes getting in the way and maintains the food friendly acidity.  The final alcohol level in this wine is 13.7%.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a light yellow to straw color.  The Spring time like nose has apples, pineapples, minerals, orange blossoms, pears, and white peaches.  This has medium body with good acidity.  On the palate the orchard fruit hits first with building minerality and pineapple coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length and closes with mouthwatering lemon zest.  (90 pts)





2010 Wente Vineyards Merlot Sandstone – SRP $18

This Merlot is from the gently sloping vineyards in the southeastern corner of Livermore Valley.  The area generally has warm days and cool nights due to its proximity to the San Francisco Bay.  The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks before being aged for 16 months in a mix of American, French, Eastern European, and neutral oak barrels.  The final alcohol is 13.5%.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The very appealing nose had plums, berries, baking spices, vanilla, minerals, and a bit of earthiness.  This has medium body, soft to moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the wine has a nice mix of fruit and savory elements with some building minerality kicking in on the back end.  The finish has good length with the fruit slowly giving way to minerals and a solid earthiness.  This is a very nice, food friendly, week night Merlot.  (89 pts)





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You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.


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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  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.