Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review: Murrieta's Well blends: ***+ $$ The Whip White and *** $$ The Spur Red

By way of background: The Whip and The Spur are two blended wines from Wente Family Estates' Murrieta's Well estate in Livermore Valley, one white and one red, both made under the watchful winemaking eye of Robbie Meyer.  Robbie hails from past experience working at, among others, Peter Michael Winery, Lewis Cellars and Jericho Canyon Vineyards.  Both the red and the white are what I would characterize fondly as "kitchen sink blends", built from broad and unique varietal pairings.


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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Murrieta's Well The Whip White Wine.

Original tasting and review : This is Murrieta's Well The Whip White Wine, Livermore Valley, California, 2013, finished at 13% alcohol and first sampled 2 years from vintage date, in July, 2015.  Here's the (lengthy!) list of varietal components: 28% semillon, 24% chardonnay, 14% sauvignon blanc, 11% orange muscat, 11% viognier, 11% gewurztraminer and 1% riesling.  It was all fermented and aged in a combination of stainless steel and neutral barrels.

In the glass: Clear with hints of yellow and faint green.

On the nose: Poured at chilled temperature and swirled vigorously, shows deep and sharp melon and citrus fruit, pairing stainless steel intensity with a softer, fleshier side.  From the aroma, seems like this will be an interesting, layered experience.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact showing the clean citrus fruit first, holding the orange and lemon and in front of the mouth, while the lengthening minerality and acids gentle pull out the sip.  The fruits progress with some acidity up into your cheeks, bringing some crisp pear and clean, dry butterscotch.   Finish hangs clean with the refreshing acids.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars with a big plus for balanced pleasure on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  Good value.
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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Murrieta's Well The Spur Red Wine.

Original tasting and review : This is Murrieta's Well The Spur Red Wine, Livermore Valley, California, 2012, finished at 13.5% alcohol and first sampled 3 years from vintage date, in July, 2015.  Here's the (also lengthy!) list of varietal components: 33% petite sirah, 31% cabernet sauvignon, 29% petit verdot, 4% malbec and 3% merlot.  It was all fermented in stainless steel and aged for 14 months in a combination of new and used oak barrels.

In the glass: Deep, black magenta, opaque from three-quarters inch from the edge.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows bold, vibrant purple fruit.  From the aroma, seems like this will be dark and bright.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact showing dry, mouth-sanding tannins that come in with a blast, pulling fresh plums and black cherries across your tongue.  The sip lingers with light acids joining the fruits and tannins.  The finish holds its character for a few moments, then slowly fades to a wisp. Interestingly, shows a gentle touch of old-world winemaking that adds a surprising and pleasant touch.

In summary: Overall, shows an easy three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale and feels like it wouldn't object to another year or two in the bottle as well.

(c) Copyright 2015 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Review: *** $ Trader Joe's Petit Reserve Viognier, Clarksburg, California, 2013 = BEST VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Trader Joe's reserve wines.

Original tasting and review : This is bargain-priced Trader Joe's Petit Reserve Viognier, Clarksburg, California, 2013, finished at 13.7% alcohol and first sampled two years from vintage date, in June, 2015.

In the glass: Clear with hints of golden yellow.

On the nose: Poured at chilled temperature and swirled vigorously, shows bright, fruity grasses with little white flowers.   From the aroma, seems like this will be sweet, light and lithe.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact just a bit heavier than anticipated, with bold white flowers falling in on a clean, dry butterscotch palate.  The finish moves across notes of ripe stone fruit to a languishingly slow finish that shows some sweet gumminess.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale and is a best value at the bargain price.


(c) Copyright 2015 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Review: *** $ Trader Joe's Reserve Lot 118 Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California, 2012 = BEST VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Trader Joe's Reserve.

Original tasting and review : This is Trader Joe's Reserve Lot 118 Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California, 2012, finished at 14.1% alcohol and first sampled 2 years from vintage date, in June, 2015.

In the glass: Clear with light yellow highlights.

On the nose: Poured chilled and swirled vigorously, shows coconut, oak, fresh butterscotch and bananas.  From the aroma, seems like this will be rich and full.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact very consistent with the aromas, highlighting full, creamy coconut. Some acids pick up as the sip settles, bringing a swift, but entirely clean finish.  Oak is apparent but not overwhelming.  

In summary: Overall, rates an easy three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  Best value.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Trader Joe's Reserve.

(c) Copyright 2015 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Review: *** $ Trader Joe's Reserve Lot 127 Syrah, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, 2013 = BEST VALUE

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Original tasting and review : This is Trader Joe's Reserve Lot 127 Syrah, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, 2013, finished at 13.9% alcohol and first sampled 1 year from vintage date, in June, 2015.

In the glass: Deep, muddy burgundy, becoming opaque from roughly a half-inch of the edge.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows deep purple fruit aromas of blueberries and blackberries.  From the aroma, seems like this will be full, bright and purple-y.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact much as anticipated, with a thick, full and aromatic purple center, bringing light acids and tannins around the edges.  Some soft sweetness melds in with the middle palate and accompanies the easy finish.

In summary: Overall, rates an easy and pleasant three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, being a best value due in large part to its bargain price point.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Trader Joe's Reserve.

(c) Copyright 2015 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Review: ***+ $$ Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Lot 67 Zinfandel, Calistoga, Napa Valley, California, 2013 = GOOD VALUE

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Original tasting and review : This is Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Lot 67 Zinfandel, Calistoga, Napa Valley, California, 2013, finished at 13.9% alcohol and first sampled 1 year from vintage date, in June, 2015.

In the glass: Deep dusty burgundy, almost opaque in the center of the glass.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows soft, fresh, red raspberry fruit.  From the aroma, seems like this will be hardly wine at all, but a luscious, rich red berry juice.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact unmistakably wine-like, showing a gritty, slightly bright red raspberry and red currant fruit.  There is sufficient sweetness to cut the vigorous acidity, and that combination brings the sip into your cheeks, where it moves into a slow, clean fade to the finish.  Plenty of tannins sneek up during the finish and put the final grip on your cheeks.   Enjoyable experience, and one that can sit for several years and still bring pleasure.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars with a plus for its bright, big redness on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  Good value.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Trader Joe's Reserve.

(c) Copyright 2015 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Review: ***+ $$ Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Lot 63 Meritage Red Wine, Napa Valley, California, 2012 = GOOD VALUE

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Original tasting and review : This is Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Lot 63 Meritage Red Wine, Napa Valley, California, 2012, finished at 14.6% alcohol and first sampled 2 years from vintage date, in June, 2015.


In the glass: Deep mahogany, going almost opaque from a half inch of the edge.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows crusty, veinous black currant fruit.  From the aroma, seems like this will be bold, aromatic and classic.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact showing piercingly bright black and purple fruit, running up your nostrils and almost into your eyeballs with its tannin- and acid-backed fruit.  Big and classically Napa.  This youngster is still hot with alcohol on the tongue, but some of that will surely settle with time.  A touch of sweet glue on the leisurely finish.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars with a plus for power on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, making this a good value at an attractive price point.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Trader Joe's Reserve.

(c) Copyright 2015 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.