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 the red and the white are what I would characterize fondly as "kitchen sink blends", built from broad and unique varietal pairings.


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.

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.

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