The legendary Joaquin Murrieta, know as the “Robin Hood of El Dorado”, was both an outlaw and a popular folk hero. He roamed California during the Gold Rush days rustling cattle from the rich and returning them to his compadres in Mexico. His legend grew over the years. Lore has it that he and his men often stopped to water their horses at this artesian well bubbling up from the floor of Livermore Valley.
Louis Mel from France purchased the land where Murrieta Well presently lies in the 1880s and build a gravity-flow winery into the hillside and planted Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon on his land. He later sold the land to his neighbor, Ernest Wente in the early 1930s. In 1990 Ernest’s grandson Philip Wente teamed up with winemaker Sergio Traverso to bring the winery back to life. Philip grew up near the winery and Sergio was the chief winemaker at nearby Concannon. They decided to remain true to the heritage of the winery and create “old world” style field blends from the unique combination of grapes that thrived in the gravelly soils. Thus, they produced legendary wines from a legendary estate.
The 2007 White Meritage from the estate brings back the legendary Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon that were originally planted by Louis Mel. This blend has 52% Semillon and 48% Sauvignon Blanc. You will detect the beautiful honeysuckle and passion fruit on the nose leading on to flavors of melon, crème soda, green apple, vanilla and butterscotch. This creamy wine has a nice level of acidity and provides a long finish. The price is $24.
The 2007 Red Meritage is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc. Each varietal was aged separately before blending. You will love the aromas and flavors of dark fruit including blackberry and blueberry with distinct notes of chocolate, clove, cinnamon anise and graham cracker with the toastiness coming through on the finish. Price is $38.
The Los Tesoros wines are barrel select wines specifically chosen by winemaker Sergio Traverso. The 2006 Los Tesoros Red Meritage is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot. The exquisite aromas and flavors of the dark cherry, blackberry and cassis is enhanced by the soft texture and balanced acidity and tannins. You will love the notes of chocolate, clove and cinnamon along with the perfectly balanced toast on the finish. It is definitely new world fruit driven wine with an old world balance and texture.
For more info: Murrieta's Well Winery