The second day of the pre-conference excursion in Livermore Valley Wine Country started off at the Murrieta’s Well Estate Vineyard. We were greeted by Carolyn Wente, fourth generation winegrower and CEO of the Wente Family Estates, as the vineyard is owned by the family even though it is a separate vineyard and has it’s own winemaker.
As we stood outside, Ms. Wente explained that the property was pays homage to Joaquin Murrieta (also know as the Robin Hood of El Dorado) who discovered it in the 1800s while he was in California looking for his fortune during the California Gold Rush. Murrieta used to water his horses from a well in the area. On the current estate, “Murrieta’s Well” taps into a fresh underground spring.
After learning about the history of the property, we saw the newly renovated wine-club-members-only patio, which is gorgeous with its backdrop of the vineyard and mountains, and the new tasting room, which is sleek and modern while still being warm and inviting. The tasting room also has a balcony overlooking the picnic area and Murrieta’s Well. Then, we headed to the event space for breakfast and a brief wine tasting. The room was lined with barrels and had sparkling chandeliers. From the moment I walked in, I couldn’t help but think that it would be the perfect site for a wedding reception.
Then it was time to eat! Normally, when I think of breakfast and wine, I automatically think sparkling (as I’m sure is the case with most people). So, I have to admit that I was very skeptical about the morning pairings because there wasn’t a sparkling wine to be seen. Instead, we had the 2015 Murrieta’s Well Dry Rosé, 2014 The Whip, and 2013 The Whip…and wow, did I learn that regular wine can be as good (if not better) with breakfast food.
2015 Murrieta’s Well Dry Rosé
Grapes: 55% Grenache & 45% Counoise
Cases produced: 400
Strawberries and stone fruits on the nose
Strawberries, grapefruits, and roses in the mouth
Light-to-medium body with nice acidity
Pairing: Absolutely amazing with the scrambled eggs with chives
Overall, loved this wine, but do think it’s a little pricey for a rosé
2014 The Whip
Grapes: 29% Semillon, 27% Chardonnay, 18% Sauvignon Blanc, 12% Orange Muscat, 8% Muscat Canelli, and 6% Viognier
Cases produced: 260
Medium straw yellow
Whoa flower blossoms! They mix with limes, stone fruits, and honeydew melon on the nose
Flowers, tropical fruits, and melon mix with tart citrus in the mouth
Medium body with nice acidity and hint of creamy sweetness
Pairing: Delicious with my strawberries and pineapple
Overall, I tend to be skeptical of white blends with this many grapes, but I was completely blown away by this wine. It’s nicely balanced, easy to drink, and definitely a wine I would pick on my own.
2013 The Spur
Grapes: 40% Petite Sirah, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 8% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Malbec
Cases produced: 345
Medium-to-deep ruby with flecks of purple
Juicy dark cherries, blueberries, and nutmeg mixed with chocolate dust, pepper, and damp earth both on the nose and in the mouth
Medium-to-full body with good acidy and strong tannins
Pairing: This wine was made to be paired with bacon and sausage. I couldn’t get enough of the pairing…taking a bite of one then sipping my wine and sighing before going back for more.
Overall, this is a not-to-be-missed wine. I wish I had more time to luxuriate over this wine.
My final thought is that Murrieta’s Well Estate Vineyard is intimate, beautiful, and welcoming, and the wines were absolutely wonderful. I enjoyed everything so much that I’m actually contemplating joining the 4-bottle wine club. If Hubby and I lived closer, joining wouldn’t even be a question because there would be few things as enjoyable spending our weekends on the patio while noshing and sipping their outstanding wine.
**It seems like Murrieta’s Well wines have been a big hit with other bloggers too. To read some other thoughts, check out:
- Rockin Red Blog’s post “Dipping My Toe In Murriet’s Well Estate Vineyard”
- Pull That Cork’s post “Murrieta’s Well: History and Wine in the Livermore Valley”
- 50 States of Wine’s post “Snooth Virtual Tasting: Murrieta’s Well”
Question of the Day: What are your thoughts about wine and breakfast/brunch? Do you tend to gravitate towards sparkling or do you order still wines?