Murrieta’s Well winery dates back to the late 19th century, making it one of California’s oldest wineries. It is a winery steeped in tradition, yet modern in wine making techniques, resulting in some of Livermore Valley’s highest quality wines. Take a moment and join me for a sip from Murrieta’s Well.
What does Murrieta’s Well have to do with Bordeaux? More than you think. When Louis Mel feel in love with the estate and purchased the land to begin a winery in 1884, he wanted to start the winery off on the right foot. Therefore, he brought over vine clippings from the famed Chateau d’Yquem and Chateau Margaux to begin his vineyards in Livermore Valley. Today, descendants from those vines still grow in the Murrieta’s Well vineyards and are found in wines throughout their portfolio. In 1993, Louis Mel made another important decision. He sold the Murrieta’s Well property to one of California’s iconic wine families; Ernest Wente bought the property and the Wente family still owns it today. In 1990, Philip Wente and his partner Sergio Traverso sought to revive the property. The decided to name it Murrieta’s Well in honor of the property’s rich history.
Today, Murrieta’s Well winemaker Robbie Meyer seeks to craft wines that offer a sense of time and place in the glass. He has deep passion about winemaking and embraces the art of blending as his favorite aspect of the process. I recently had the treat of listening to Robbie once again (I was fortunate to participate in last year’s Murrieta’s Well tasting as well) share his passion for winemaking and his wines in virtual tasting hosted by Snooth. Being a wine geek I must confess I could listen to Robbie talk for hours about wine. He shares his knowledge and expertise in a way that is engaging and entertaining as well as educational.
“Making wine is a beautiful experience. There is nothing quite like growing fruit in the vineyard, caring for it in the winery and crafting it into something people can enjoy in many ways. I believe in creating wines that are exceptionally pleasing and intriguing at the same time.” ~ Robbie Meyer, Winemaker Murrieta’s Well
This year instead of tasting only blends we sampled four estate grown small lot wines in addition to the ever popular Whip and Spur blends. Whether blends or single varietals, Murrieta’s Well focuses on crafting terroir-driven, small lot, limited production wines of the highest quality. Murrieta’s Well wants to showcase the vineyard in each bottle of wine so whether enjoying a glass in their tasting room or in your home you get a sense of where the wine came from and the craftsmanship in which it was made.
Here are the six wines we tasted, these wines were provided to me as media samples but all thoughts and opinions are mine.
2015 Murrieta’s Well The Whip White Wine Blend Livermore Valley ($24): Crafted of 30% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon, 30% Chardonnay, 7% Viogner, and 3% Muscat Canelli; pale gold in the glass; pronounced aromas of a fresh summer fruit basket that include ripe peaches, pineapple, melons, apricots, lychee, grapefruit, lemon curd, and sweet alyssum; off-dry on the palate; rich and elegant with pronounced acidity that provides a nice lift and balances out the wine well, mouth-coating, long finish.
2016 Murrieta’s Well Small Lot Muscadet Canelli Livermore Valley ($35): 100% Muscadet Canelli; pale gold in the glass; pronounced aromas of fresh picked sweet alyssum; grapefruit, lemon zest, pineapple, lychee, ripe stone fruit, and soft grassy notes; tart and grassy on the palate, slightly off-dry; pronounced acidity that feels zesty on the palate, refreshing and bright with a long tart lime zest finish
2016 Murrieta’s Well Dry Rosé ($30): Crafted of 35% Grenache and 45% Counoise; pale salmon with orange hues in the glass; medium+ aromas of orange crème, strawberries, fresh rose petals, raspberries, and vanilla; lots of tart citrus zest on a light and refreshing palate with medium acidity, elegant and really pleasing wine.
2014 Murrieta’s Well Small Lot Merlot Livermore Valley ($40): 100% Merlot; medium+ ruby in the glass; medium+ aromas of plums, blackberries, black raspberries, dried herbal notes, minerality, sweet baking spice, leather, and a trailing hint of smoke and vanilla; a deeply layered Merlot, darker than usual with loads of flavors, silky texture, medium acidity and tannins, highly approachable.
2014 Murrieta’s Well Small Lot Cabernet Franc ($58): 100% Cabernet Franc; medium ruby in the glass; pronounced aromas of bright plums, cherries, blackberries, and raspberries, dried herbs, dusty earth, minerality, white pepper; silky and rich palate, elegant with balanced medium acidity and youthful yet smooth tannins, juicy fruit and herbs dance across the palate, expressive, full body with a long, juicy fruit finish.
2014 Murrieta’s Well The Spur Livermore Valley ($30): 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Petite Sirah, 14% Petit Verdot, 10% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon; medium+ ruby in the glass; pronounced aromas of plums, red and black cherries, blackberries, cranberries, black raspberries, dried rose petals and herbs, sweet baking spice, leather, smoke, licorice, black pepper, touch of green pepper, dried espresso beans, cocoa, and vanilla; rich and round on the palate, a bold wine with a silky delivery, complex and layered from judicious use oak, high acidity with pronounced youthful tannins, a great wine that will age for years.
These wines taste way above their price range. They are elegant and approachable and would pair great with summer cuisines. To order these wines from Murrieta’s Well go to their web site or visit Snooth to find these wines near you. While there, you can also view their entire portfolio of wines and learn more about the winery and upcoming events. The winery is beautiful and they host private events and weddings.
My Song Selection: These wines feel so down home, warm, inviting, delicious, and American to me. I don’t mean “new world” they just feel like laid back California in the very best way. I just cannot get this classic 70’s song out of my head when I think of how these wines taste and feel. Hope you enjoy it.
Get your own bottles of Murrieta’s Well wines (you will be glad you did) and let me know what song you pair with them. Cheers!