Sep. 20th, 2010

Winery Review: Murrieta’s Well Winery in Livermore, California

Wineries in California: Springing from a tale as old as California itself, Murrieta’s Well Winery is defined by its distinctive blended wines, stunning location, and a rich heritage that began during California’s Gold Rush era. The feeling still resonates today in the beautifully restored old stone winery. The winery’s original founder, French-born Louis Mel, was inspired by the land’s ideal growing conditions and how much it reminded him of his home in the French countryside.

It has been 20 years since fourth-generation winegrower Philip Wente realized his lifelong dream of restoring the historic property and surrounding vineyards. Sergio Traverso, a well-respected winemaker who knew the significance of the Livermore Valley terroir, joined Philip in bringing the estate back to life. Together, they remain true to the winery’s heritage and craft exceptional small-lot blends using the estate’s original plantings from the renowned estates of Château d’Yquem and Margaux.

The winery portfolio has many elegant wines to note. One, the Red Meritage, is a sophisticated blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec. A mix of new and old French, American, and Hungarian oak barrels are used to age each varietal separately for four months before they are carefully blended. There is also a White Meritage, a delightful Bordeaux blend of Sémillon and Chardonnay not often found in the United States.

It’s a quick trip from the San Francisco area to this charming winery tucked away in the picturesque Livermore Valley. The winery, enhanced by rustic wooden beams and artisan tile work, takes visitors back in time and offers not only a pretty setting, but also a taste of some very unique wines. In addition to the captivating Bordeaux blends and the Spanish-influenced Zarzuela, Murrieta’s Well is releasing a limited 20th Anniversary Blend (Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo) in the summer of 2010 to commemorate the occasion.

  • Red Meritage Dark plum, cinnamon, boysenberry, mocha $34.99
  • White Meritage Ripe melon, green apple, vanilla, butterscotch $21.99
  • Zarzuela Violets, blueberry, cherry, leather, spice, vanilla $28.99
  • Sémillon-Chardonnay Orange peel, lemon, floral, vanilla cream, toasty oak $20

    3005 Mines Rd
    Livermore, CA 94550
    Tasting Room Open Wed–Sun 11–4:30

    From Hwy 580E, take Vasco Rd exit. Go south until Vasco dead-ends at Tesla Rd (3 miles). Turn right on Tesla, proceed ? mile. Turn left on Mines Rd. The winery is on the right.
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