A little while ago, I was approached by a representative from Snooth, if I would be interested in participating with forty-three other wine bloggers in a virtual wine tasting. I was intrigued, flattered and scared. I mean, I am probably one of the oldest self-appointed wine writers out there. Snooth for those that are more casual about wine is Social Networking website founded in 2006. It is a community for research, review and shopping online and I have been kind of a lone wolf writing in the hinterlands about a subject that I enjoy so much. I was intrigued and flattered that I was even noticed, since I am based in the mid-west, which is hardly the wine center of the country, even though the wine makers in Michigan and other parts of the mid-west are working hard for more recognition. I was also scared, because I am probably considered an old curmudgeon, a relic from the last century and I hardly use the flowery prose and descriptors that are now in vogue. The other aspect was the thought of a virtual wine tasting, the idea of tasting wines was not a concern, since I probably started tasting wines before most of my colleagues that I would be participating with were born. So, I was game, since I have kind of conquered my fear of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, a new way to taste wines only seemed a bit daunting. I did contact one of my oldest followers of my blog and maybe I am one of her oldest readers as well, but she has always been very friendly and helpful in the nuances of aspects of modern blogging, and she kind of assisted me in two different wine chats on Twitter and I survived, even with my rather limited typing skills, and I am eternally grateful and I was pleased to know that she would be one of the other forty-three. She also gave me some great tips.
I received five bottles of wine courtesy of Murrieta’s Well in Livermore, California. They are one of the oldest and original wine estates in California, and use only estate grown fruit for their wines. The winery is in the Livermore Valley AVA which is in the eastern end of the San Francisco Bay AVA. Louis Mel started planting grapes in the 1860’s and they were not just any grapes, but cuttings from Chateau d’Yquem and Chateau Margaux. In 1884 Louis Mel built and installed in a hillside a gravity flow winery. In 1933 Louis Mel sold his winery to Ernest Wente and the winery has been part of the Wente Family Estate ever since. On the Murietta’s Well website they are showing fourteen different wines that they are selling. The wines that will be part of the virtual wine tasting will be: Sauvignon Blanc Small Lot 2017, “The Whip” White Wine Blend 2016, Dry Rosé 2017, “The Spur” Red Wine Blend 2015 and their Cabernet Sauvignon Small Lot 2015.
The Murrieta’s Well Sauvignon Blanc Small Lot 2017 was the first wine that we tried for the tasting. The grapes in this wine are descendants of the original Chateau d’Yquem cuttings that Louis Mel planted in the 1860’s, in the Louis Mel Vineyard that is right in front of their historic tasting room. The fruit is one of the earliest that is picked and it is hand-picked in the late evening and early morning hours. The 2017 vintage was the first non-drought year since 2011. The wine was aged in neutral French Oak for four months “Sur Lie” which will add nuance to the juice, without imparting an oaky flavor. There were thirty barrels produced of this wine and it is suggested that this wine will be enjoyed through 2022. I had two reports to issue as my Bride joined in for the occasion. I found the wine to have a soft Straw color with a soft grapefruit aroma. Good balanced acidity with a lingering aftertaste and a long count. Great as a stand alone or with food. My Bride opined that the wine had a soft Straw color with a delicate grapefruit aroma. She also felt that it was good and refreshing. There is still more to come about this evening.