The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2016

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46  /  the tasting panel  /  august 2016 Featured prominently near the tasting room is the natural arte- sian well, which Joaquin Murrieta claimed had the best water in the country. The recent changes to the winery preserved the original structure, including the original support beams in the open and bright cathedral-style tasting bar on the second floor. If you look closely at the walls around the property, you will see how Mel originally constructed the edifice with wood boards and then poured concrete made from the estate's river rock and gravelly soils. One of the biggest additions to the property is a full-service kitchen that creates culinary delights developed to pair with the Murrieta's Well portfolio of handcrafted wines. Carolyn Wente also notes that a chef's garden is forthcoming and will furnish the kitchen with an on-hand bounty of fruit and vegetables. Our lunch previewed the menu being served at the winery: plentiful charcuterie and cheese boards, braised short ribs on a bed of polenta and fluffy sugar-dusted donuts, paired with Murrieta's Well Small Lot Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Petit Verdot 2013, Tempranillo 2014 and Port 2014. Murrieta's Well produces small lot wines, with approximately 200–300 cases produced on average per varietal. The wines are all sourced exclusively from the estate, where 20 grape varieties are planted. Meyer believes this leads to "the root of what we do: consistent wine, vintage to vintage." Sitting out in the vineyards, underneath hundred-year-old olive trees, we tasted through some of the wine portfolio. Meyer, who has worked with the winery since 2014, provided more insight into his style of winemaking. "We're looking for a natural process. Even if we use 20 different tanks, each tank is treated differently. We taste throughout the fermentation, adjusting as needed. We do this to ensure that our limited production wine showcases the best of our estate, each vintage." Winemaker Robbie Meyer in the estate vine- yards at Murrieta's Well in Livermore Valley. PHOTO: CHRIS HOWARD The newly remodeled Murrieta's Well tasting room in California's Livermore Valley, alongside the artesian well, which was discovered on the property in the 1800s.

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