The Murrieta’s Well The Whip 2013 is a blend of 28% Semillion, 24% Chardonnay, 14% Sauvignon Blanc, 11% Orange Muscat, 11% Viognier, 11% Gewürztraminer and 1% White Riesling all grown on Murrieta’s Well estate vineyards located in the Livermore Valley AVA near the San Francisco Bay. Murrieta’s Well was originally planted in 1884 and was purchased by Wente Vineyards in the 1930s (Wente Vineyards was founded in 1883). In 1990, Philip Wente, the grandson of the founder took on the task of restoring the vineyard and facilities. The name “The Whip” is a reference to Joaquin Murrieta, a Robin Hood-like Gold Rush era bandit who discovered the well in the 1850s. The Whip blend was fermented and aged in stain-less steel vats, but a part of the Semillion, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier were aged in neutral oak barrels. Neutral oak barrels are barrels that have been used often enough that the amount of oak transfer to the wine is minimal. But it is not totally neutral since the wine comes out with slightly different characteristics than wine aged in stainless steel. This is a small batch wine with only 338 barrels produced (about 300 bottles to a barrel) with a price of around $22. The alcohol content is 13%.
The color is pale sunshine yellow. With the grapes used in the blend the nose should be very expressive and The Whip does not disappoint, flowers, lots and lots of flowers, orange blossom honey, citrus, apricots, green apple, unsweetened pineapple, sour hard candies and lemon. There is excellent interplay between the sweet, the sour and the natural fruit and citrus flavors. This wine has a sweet side, but not out of balance. It tastes of fruit, peach and pear, along with melon, lemon/lime and a blast of tart grapefruit. The mid-palate softens the citrus with creamy guava and sugary tart hard candy. The acidity is balanced with the flavors and the finish is full and lengthy.
The Murrieta’s Well The Whip 2013 is a boutique wine at a not so boutique price. This is a wine that experienced wine drinkers can spend some time with and inexperienced wine drinkers can immediately grasp. The Whip has a definite sweet side (not dessert wine territory) and gentle acidity, so keep that in mind for food pairing, nothing too spicy and look for complementary flavors. The Whip might not be named like a wine you would pour for you aunt and grandmother, but I think they would like it. And the Whip also has an exotic, sleek, decadent. sexy side, so maybe it is well named.
*this bottle was received as a sample