Posts tagged ‘Wente’

Two Blends from Murrieta’s Well

 

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

 

 

2013 Murrieta’s Well the Whip (White Blend)

2011 Murrieta’s Well the Spur (Red Blend)

 

 

Logo

 

Overview

I tried the previous vintage of these wines and enjoyed them, I’m looking forward to trying the new vintages.  These are both blends that will be different from most of your everyday wines.  Sometimes thinking (or drinking) outside the box can be a rewarding experience.

 

 

Murrieta’s Well History

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.

 

 

Balzac logo

These bottles were provided by Balzac Communications & Marketing.

About Balzac

BALZAC is a marketing communications agency with a no-nonsense approach to combining the strategies and tactics of marketing, public relations, advertising and graphic design to achieve the marketing goals of our clients.

 

The experience, creativity and determination of our staff distinguish BALZAC from our competition. We use these assets to develop and execute cost-effective campaigns which have won international communications awards.

The results speak for themselves.

The agency is located in Napa, California, and provides services to national, regional, and local companies based in Northern California and throughout the world.

 

For more information on Balzac, please click here.

 

 

The lineup for this tasting:

Murrieta's Well lineup

 

 

 

2013 Murrieta’s Well the Whip (White Blend) – SRP $22

This wine is an unusual blend of 28% Semillon, 24%  Chardonnay, 14% Sauvignon Blanc, 11% Orange Muscat, 11% Viognier, 11% Gewurztraminer and 1% White Riesling from California’s Livermore Valley.

 

All the varieties were cold fermented to preserve the natural fruit character of the grapes.  A small percentage of the Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier were aged in neutral oak barrels to round out the wines and add complexity, the rest of the components were aged in stainless steel tanks.

 

The wine has 13.0% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.  There were 338 cases produced.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright golden yellow color.  The very enticing nose has apples, orange blossoms, melon, cantaloupe, crushed stones, peach, lychee, cantaloupe, spice, and lemon zest.  The wine has medium to full body, a creamy texture and very nice acidity.  On the palate ripe fruit and nice spice hit first with tart citrus zest popping out on the back end.  This has a long finish with nice tangy citrus making you want to grab another sip.  This is an outstanding change of pace wine if you want to try something a bit outside your normal comfort zone.  (91 pts)

2013 Murrieta's Well the Whip

2013 Murrieta’s Well the Whip

 

 

 

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.  This wine screams for something hot and juicy right off the grill.  (89 pts)

2011 Murrieta's Well the Spur

2011 Murrieta’s Well the Spur

 

 

 

Connect with me

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.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

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!

Cliffs Wine Picks – Wente Front Porch Music Series tasting

 

 

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)

Riesling

 

 

 

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)

Chardonnay

 

 

 

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)

Merlot

 

 

 

Connect with me

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.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2013 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Murrieta’s Well

 

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)

 

Logo

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

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!

 

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