the_spur_2011The Murrieta’s Well The Spur 2011 is a blend of 31% Petite Sirah, 29% Petit Verdot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec and 5% Cabernet Franc sourced from estate vineyards in the Livermore Valley AVA near San Francisco Bay. Murrieta’s Well was first planted in 1883 and in the 1930s was purchased by Wente Vineyards (they too were founded in 1883). Philip Wente, grandson of the founder, started revitalizing the old Murrieta’s Well vineyard and facilities in 1990. The name “The Spur” is reference to Joaquin Murrieta, a Gold Rush era bandit, who discovered the well in the 1850s. The blend was fermented in stainless steel vats and aged for 14 months using  American, French and Eastern European oak and a variety of new, used and neutral barrels. So, five grapes and a science project of oak were employed to come up with exact characteristics of this blend. This is a fairly small batch wine, 425 barrels (about 300 bottles to a barrel) at a not so boutique price of around $22. The alcohol content is 13.5%.

The color is a clear see-thru garnet red. The nose is rich ripe dark berries, a touch of smoke, pepper, leather, mocha and raspberry jam. This is a well-balanced, medium bodied, dry red blend. It starts with blackberry, dark chocolate, softer blueberry, tart cherry and licorice. The mid-palate adds toasty oak spice, a little vanilla, exotic spice and a cooling finish of raspberry. There is excellent structure to this blend, the tannins are firm and mixed into the flavor profile. The acidity gives the wine some length and allows it to work as a food wine. The finish is bold and long.

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The Murrieta’s Well The Spur 2011 is an expertly crafted small batch Estate wine at a down to earth price. The Spur is well balanced, but has tons of subtle flavor (be sure to open the bottle at least an hour before you pour). For pairings, I’m thinking roast pork loin, al Pastor tacos or maybe something Cajun. Meritage blends are California wines that only use the grapes approved for Bordeaux wines. The Spur uses 4 Bordeaux grapes along with Petite Sirah, a Rhone grape, which gives the Spur a very American twist on classic French wine blends. Like French blends, the Spur is elegant and balanced and like California Red wine it has loads of delicious flavor, making the Spur a best of both worlds Red blend.

 

 

this wine was recieved as a sample

 

 

 

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