This Livermore Valley vineyard has been growing grapes since the 1800s, and while it has labored in obscurity in recent years, recent investments have revitalized the land and the estate wines made there. These two blends are now hitting the market. We tasted both.
2009 Murrieta’s Well The Whip – A nutty white blend: 43% Semillon, 21% Sauvignon Blanc, 21% Viognier, 7% Muscat Canelli, 5% Gewurztraminer, and 3% Orange Muscat. Lemon is immediate on the nose, and a buttery body made me think of Chardonnay, which is actually the only white wine grape not present in The Whip. But the creaminess is at odds with the pungency offered by the Viognier, Gewurz, and Muscats. Interesting and it grows on you, but it’s altogether not very balanced. B / $19
2008 Murrieta’s Well The Spur – A Bordeaux style blend — sort of. 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Petit Verdot, 10% Petite Sirah, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Malbec. Big and burly, and it needs time to open up. With air, The Spur exhibits very dark, black fruit character, wood and leather, and a green finish. Lots of chewiness here, with a tar-like tannins. Heavy. Could have used some Merlot in the mix. B- / $22