Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Murrieta’s Well The Spur

The Livermore Valley wine region is literally where the California wine industry started. It’s where Spanish missionaries planted the first wine grapes in the 1760s. Then in the mid-1800s, Robert Livermore planted the area’s first commercial vineyards. A few years later, winemaking pioneer C. H. Wente arrived and established California Chardonnay in the region. James Concannon and the Wetmore brothers recognized the virtues of the area’s Bordeaux-like gravel soils and dedicated themselves to making high quality wine from Bordeaux varieties. Today the area is also known for high quality Petite Sirah.

Petite Sirah is what gives The Spur from Murrieta’s Well a uniquely California twist to the traditional Bordeaux blend. More on that in a minute.

Murrieta’s Well is one of California’s original wine estates and has been growing grapes since the 1880s. The vineyard was started with cuttings from the famed Chateau Margaux vineyard in France, one of the first Premiere Cru (first growth) estates in Bordeaux. Considering that today a bottle of Chateau Margaux will set you back as much as $1,500, it’s hard to think of a better foundation for a vineyard!

The 2016 version of The Spur is delicious, and costs a fraction of what Chateau Margaux does, thank goodness. As a matter of fact, you can find Murrieta’s Well wines locally for less than $25! The Spur is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (35%) with Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, but the 22% Petite Sirah is what makes this less French Bordeaux and more a California style. Big, bold and fruity with juicy blackberry, blueberry, and plum flavors, The Spur adds deep dark chocolate and espresso notes, with a peppery finish that balances the fruit and extends the finish. This is a quality wine that Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast routinely rate 90 points or higher year after year.

On my five-cork scale based on taste and value The Spur from Murrieta’s Well gets 4.25 corks. This is a well-crafted wine that tastes like a $50 or $60 bottle of wine. Try it today while you can still get it for less than $25 locally, because that price won’t last.

If you’d like to try interesting wines like this, please join me at our next private wine party at Sorrento’s Norwood Italian! I host a wine dinner there every month, and we feature several interesting wines, each paired with a delicious course. There are always cool prizes to win, too, so listen Wednesday at 4:15 to win your spot on the guest list, or click here for a chance to win!

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