This is the first of several notes I made when I visited Murietta’s Well Winery in Livermore, California. I was greeted at the entrance by the hostess who offered me a glass of this. Medium yellow in the glass with a great, fresh nose of melon, lemon curd and pineapple. On the palate it’s a little thinner than expected but still very fresh. Lithe acidity. 88 points and 2 stars for this $26 blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Orange Muscat, Chardonnay, Viognier and Muscat Canelli. Salut….
Back in 2013 I flew across the country on a flight that served up Murietta’s Well ‘Los Tesoros’. I enjoyed the wine and remembered the name. I recently had a business trip to Livermore, CA where they have their facility so I went to visit. I booked a 3 pm tasting but arrived at 2 as the traffic was not an issue. They offered to seat me on the patio, upstairs overlooking the grounds or I could go to the actual tasting room. Had I been on a social visit with friends then the patio was the best option- but as I was alone and on a mission to taste and take notes so I opted for the tasting room. I’m glad I did because the host was very gracious, patient and generous. I ended up tasting their full offering and we had a great time discussing my notes that he then would compare to the winemaker’s. I am no professional taster, but I really enjoyed picking out the slight nuances I tasted in several of the wines.
You will be able to read about each wine in greater detail but to sum up the experience I would say that you must visit, do the full tasting and then relax with a glass of your favorite on the patio when done. My choice was the Petit Verdot, it was downright delicious. The grounds were very nice and well kept, the weather was exceptional and I thoroughly enjoyed the three hours I spent there. The wines are not everyday quaffers, they are well crafted and priced accordingly. They offer a richness and depth found in sunny California with good aging capacity for the patient. I don’t think they are widely available as production seems limited, but they do have a membership available. Salut….
Very typical in the glass for Pinot- seethrough, lighter shade of purple and showing fine-strained legs. On the nose I get strawberry pie, spice box and rooibos tea. On the initial palate it’s more cherry than strawberry but they coexist nicely.
The wine transitions beautifully to the mid palate where I get some ginger and allspice. The back end is where they sneak some lithe tannins in that barely caress my gums- very deftly. There’s a nice acidity alongside violets and that red tea component- delicious. 91 points- drink till 2025 with lighter fare such as Cornish Hens, Filet or even charcuterie. $30 and 5 stars. Salut….
Really bright purple in the glass, nice legs too! On the nose I get candied plum, oak shavings, blackberry preserves. On the palate it is quite tart, but interesting. Plums, ganache, chocolate dust and curt tannins all hit me on the initial. The mid palate is where the tannic grip takes hold. Dark stone fruits galore and an astringent tea make up the main profile. On the finish this wine gives me black olives, plums, tea and that tannic bite which lasts for over thirty seconds. Not a bad drop. 89 points from me and 5 stars for this $10 Malbec. Drink now with hearty dishes or cellar medium term for a smoother drinking wine. Salut….
I have drunk tons of the 95 and 96 Garraud vintages and when I saw this I got excited. It is of medium darkness and opacity, with nice legs showing. On the nose I get plum, charcoal and currants. The palate is young and slightly corky, not in the ‘corked’ way, it just tastes like cork. Iodine is also present as are black plums and licorice. The mid palate is really where this wine opens up- black fruits melding with a tannic dryness that builds slowly. The tannins are still a little green, I hope they soften a touch. There is a black olive note and more of that iodine on the finish that make this a brooding wine that I hope will mature like it’s predecessors. With a bit of bottle age this winery has turned out some great Bordeaux beauties that drink well for 10-15 years. I think this one has the stuffing, it comes from a great vintage- I just think it needs cellaring for a while. Drink from 2022 till 2030. Pairings will change as the wine matures, for now- if you pop and pour, stick with red meats and hearty cheeses to pair. I’m going with 89 points for now, with a possible upgrade in the future depending on the tannins and how they assimilate. 3 stars for this $30 Bordeaux wine. Salut….
Quite dark and opaque for a Sangiovese. On the nose it’s quite purply ( is that even a word?). Plum pie, black currants and a dose of chocolate cake. On the palate it is quite fresh, young in presence and fruit forward. Cherry essence is the first on a list of palate notes- rhubarb comes in second. There are some strawberry hints as well as kirsch- but no dark fruits. Very strange, I was expecting more black notes and ended up with red. The mid palate has some heat and the comings of some young tannins. The dryness hits the base of my teeth. Nice. On the back end it’s all red fruits and some acidic charm to counter the tannic pinch. Overall a decent wine that will drink nicely to 2024. 90 points and 3 stars for this $40 wine. Salut….
Wow- 99 points form one critic, I just had to try it! Then I realized the pro in question rates on a different scale. It looks pretty dark in the glass, but there’s an effervescence appearing on the top that concerns me- either a tainted glass or something in the wine. On the nose I’m getting currants, cherry and bramble. The palate is quite sweet, with layered blackberry jam/blackcurrant reduction. This wine is very thick and juicy, loaded with fruit extract. There’s a nice dose of tannins that gently appear on the midpalate, melding with the dark fruits and carrying the wine to a nice, balanced finish of black berries, black currants and black tea leaf. There’s a Ribena note right at the end that I’m enjoying. This is a solid 91 pointer that will drink nicely till 2024. I’m going 4 stars at $30 for this Aglianico. Salut….
Bright purple with nice legs in the glass. Sweet blackberries on the nose with a vanilla bean twist. On the palate it is crisp, dry and delicious. Black cherry jam with blackberries topped with some espresso beans. The mid is more blueberries and plum, the tannins smoothing out. The finish has black fruits, tea, olive and a good whack of tannic grip. There’s a lot going on here folks, very intricate. 92 points and 4 stars for this $48 Napa beauty. Drink till 2030. Salut….