18 July 2011

Wente Tasting #TTL

It was time again for a Twitter Taste Live event, this time with Wente Vineyards representative Karl Wente, who was celebrating his 34th birthday during the webcast. Karl is a fifth generation winemaker, and the Livermore Valley vineyards have been farmed by his family since 1883, surviving the 1906 earthquake and Prohibition.

I've previously reviewed two of these wines from the entry level Tamás line, and was excited to try the rosé. And then two big, serious wines to finish things off.

2009 Tamás Pinot Grigio
93% Pinot Gris, 4% Viognier, 2% Chardonnay, 1% Orange Muscat
Central Coast
$12, 13% abv.
This is a pretty standard domestic Pinot Grigio: light and lemony with just enough acidity to get your attention, but overall a very mild profile. Easy drinking, good with pasta salad.

2008 Tamás Double Decker Red
Proprietary blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Barbera, and others
Central Coast
$12, 13.5% abv.
Spicy and tannic, it ends up having sort of a simple Chianti-type character. And because of this, I found it a wonderful pairing with a casual dinner of spaghetti and marinara sauce.

2010 Sangiovese Rosato
Prima Classe Riserva
100% Sangiovese
Livermore Valley
$19, 12.9% abv.
300 cases made
This bottle isn't currently listed on the website (only available at the tasting room). Bright pomegranate flavor, crisp acidity, touch of tannins on the finish. Fruity and just a touch of sweetness. It's one of the first rosés I've had this summer, and it's a refreshing joy.

While the Tamás wines represent a new and lighthearted approach, Murrieta's Well is a 150 year old vineyard that was resurrected through a partnership with the Wente family in the 1990s. The source of good water was discovered by Joaquin Murrieta, who was the real life inspiration for Zorro.

2008 Murrieta’s Well The Spur
Livermore Valley
54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Petit Verdot, 10% Petite Sirah, 9% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec
$25, 14.5% abv.
Blackberry and a touch of jam, smooth tannins, big dark fruit flavor. Long finish. The Petite Sirah is a nice addition to the Bordeaux blend, and helps with the overall dark structure of the wine.

2008 Murietta's Well Los Tesoros de Joaquín Anniversary Blend
Livermore Valley
63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Tempranillo
$50, 14.1% abv.
Subtle nose of black cherry, black pepper, tobacco, and a touch of chocolate. It is smooth, delicious, refined, and well-aged. Save this one for a really great grass-fed steak.

Note: These wines were received as samples.

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