Thursday, November 2, 2017

A Trio of Wine from Murrieta’s Well While Listening to The White Buffalo

Although owned and operated by members of the Chardonnay-famed Wente family, Murrieta’s Well grows 20 different grape varieties at their Livermore Valley AVA estate. In fact the original vineyard was planted using cuttings from the Bordeaux estates of Chateau d’Yquem and Chateau Margaux back in 1884. Today, this estate is segmented into specific vineyards based on the property's various micro-climates, with the Hayes vineyard providing grapes for eleven varieties. Many of these varieties are included in three blends I recently received from the winery -- all showcasing the delicious wines being produced at Murrieta's Well as well as the larger Livermore Valley.

Murrieta’s Well The Spur Red Wine Blend Livermore Valley 2014 ($30) is a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Petite Sirah, 14% Petit Verdot, 10% Merlot, and 9% Cabernet Franc grown in different vineyards throughout estate. The wine was fermented independently and after blending aged 24 months in 50% new, 25% second use, and 25% third use French oak. This is a very pleasant wine; smooth and chewy; yet enough dark cherries and spices to complement the soft tannins. A neighborhood favorite. 

Murrieta’s Well Dry Rosé Livermore Valley 2016 ($30) is a blend of 55% Grenache and 45% Counoise - the later a Rhone grape variety allowed into the blend of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine. The grapes are grown in the estate Hayes vineyard, gently pressed and cold fermented separately. This wine is all strawberries from head to tail complemented by melons and crisp acids.

Murrieta’s Well The Whip White Wine Blend Livermore Valley 2015 ($24) is a blend of 30% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon, 30% Chardonnay, 7% Viognier, and 3% Muscat Canelli grown in different vineyards in the winery's estate. Most of the juice was fermented in stainless steal, although a portion of the Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc were fermented in small oak barrels. The the blended wine is aged 14 months where 1/3 in used French Oak and 2/3 in stainless steel tanks. This process provides a roundness and creaminess in addition to the bright flavors and acidity. And the aromatics from the Viognier and Muscat Canelli account for the stone fruit and floral launch. Nicely done.

These wines were paired with the latest release from The White Buffalo, Darkest Darks, Lightest Lights. LA-based songwriter Jake Smith writes meaningful folk songs performed in the various styles of blues, rock, and soul. The feature track Avalon is getting plenty of airplay on SiriusXM Outlaw Country; this is one catchy tune. The album oscillates from the gritty to the ballads as in The Robbery and The Observatory or Nightstalker Blues and If I Lost My Eyes. Like his previous releases, I placed this at the front of my listening queue. Cheers.
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