The SOMM Journal

June / July 2018

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{ } 65 through here, and that makes all the dif- ference in growing conditions. Just imagine if that opening were cut off—it would be too hot here to make good wine because there wouldn't be enough diurnal tem - perature variation to grow quality grapes." Luckily, that persistent stream of cool air permits those aforementioned 21 grape varieties to thrive in the estate vineyards. It's a little more complex than simply listing the varieties, so I ask Meyer to go into more detail. He chooses Sau - vignon Blanc as a good example of why an enumeration doesn't even begin to tell the story. "Because of all the vineyard variables, Sauvignon Blanc farmed on one par t of the estate is not going to be the same as the Sauvignon Blanc grown in another par t," he explains. "That's why, when it comes time to harvest, I pick by individual lots. Those individual lots will all be made separately and will go into bar - rel and age separately." An omatic Allure In Meyer's mission to make well-balanced, food-friendly wines, he says crafting releases "that deliver beautiful aromatics" is criti - cal—especially with the white blend, The Whip. The specifics of the blend vary from year to year, but you can tell Meyer enjoys playing with the possible combinations. The 2016 vintage of The Whip, for example, is an amalgam of Semillon (24%), Chardonnay (21%), Sauvignon Blanc (33%), Orange Muscat (12%), and Viognier (10%). The final combination results in an elegantly-structured wine with bright acidity that's balanced by a hint of sweet - ness on the finish. The floral aromas are reminiscent of spring citrus blossoms with complementary white peach and melon notes on the palate, solidifying The Whip as a multidimensional, summery wine with sophisticated allure. Meanwhile, the 2015 vintage of the red wine blend, The Spur, could best be de - scribed as a balanced composition of Old World varieties crafted with a California sensibility. There's boldness offered by the Cabernet Sauvignon (48%) and structure from the Petite Sirah (20%), while the other varieties—Petit Verdot (8%), Merlot (18%), and Cabernet Franc (6%)—add subtle nuances. Another benefit of the winery's adher - ence to site-specific farming and atten- tive, small-lot winemaking is that some of the individual lots will become exclusive offerings for lucky Murrieta's Well club members. Meyer describes the complex winemaking process with breathless ex - citement: "I might have an Orange Muscat or Muscat Canelli to add in, or this year maybe the Viognier is very aromatic, and I can add that," he says. "Then, once I get the wine to smell beautiful with the addi - tion of those varieties, then it's time to go for the body and mid-palate." And that's when Meyer finds a way to insert his favorite word yet again: "Once those wines are complete, that's when the fun begins," he continues with a grin. "The property is so dynamic, it's fun to make these blends that we see as a 'survey' of all the varieties we can grow successfully on the property." The rolling vineyards of Murrieta's Well.

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