Wednesday, August 9, 2017

I AM Drinking That @#$%& Merlot

Murrieta's Well is a Wente property in California's Livermore Valley. They take great pride in being one of the Golden State's "original wine estates." The place was founded in the late 19th century, with cuttings from the Chateau d'Yquem and Chateau Margaux in France, not to be a name-dropper. The estate was bought in 1933 by Ernest Wente. In 1990, Philip Wente and Sergio Traverso "partnered together to revive the winery." Winemaker Robbie Meyer does a great job of turning the fruit entrusted to him into magnificent wines that tell the story of the land.

A virtual event recently put Murrieta's Well into an online tasting session, which is documented here. My thanks to those involved in putting on the show for inviting me and providing samples to taste.

Murrieta's Well Small Lot Livermore Valley Merlot

This estate wine is made from 90% Merlot grapes, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petite Sirah. The several varieties were vinified and aged separately, 18 months in French oak, 40% of which was new. It has alcohol at 14.1% abv and the 18 barrels produced have all been sold, according to the website.

This extremely dark wine has the sort of aromas that make me say, "I AM drinking some f%&@ing Merlot." Blackberry and plum dominate, but leather appears, with campfire smoke close behind. The palate is beautiful, sweet and juicy, with a firm tannic structure and mouth-watering acidity. Oak hints top it off nicely, with vanilla and spice. It will be great with your favorite steak, hot off the grill.

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