Tuesday, July 26, 2011

4 More From Livermore

Wente, Chardonnay champions extraordinaire in the Livermore valley, have a couple of other labels: Murrieta's Well - a higher end label - and Tamás Estates - a value-driven label.

In a new tasting format - live Twitter - we tasted through these wines and found them to be pretty darn good.  In fact, surprisingly good - especially at the lower prices, which is consistent with what we found on the Wente Chardonnays.  Keep an eye out for the Tamás Estates wines at the grocery store.  Even though the labels are cheap-looking, there's a lot of drinking pleasure at around $10 with these wines.  Also be on the lookout for The Spur.

(Disclosure: These wines were received as press samples.)

2009 Tamás Estates Pinot Grigio $10
Textbook Pinot Grigio with a dash of Viognier for a squirt of fruit which makes it more approachable.  Fuller bodied and rounder than the oceans of insipid PG out there, thankfully.  Good call on adding in the Viognier and Gewertztraminer.  Easy wine to toss back after an afternoon of yard work.



2008 Tamás Estates Double Decker Red $10
Exceeds expectations.  Blend of everything and the kitchen sink.  Round, full, and super gulper friendly.  Let's not get too carried away - it is a $10 bottle, but, man! lots of well integrated components: fruit, oak, and depth.  Don't be fooled by the cheap looking label, this could be your new go to pizza/pasta/burger wine.  (Definitely benefitted from a couple of hours in the decanter.)



2010 Tamás Estates Sangionvese Rosato $19
Very light pink with a dry, sharp nose.  Easy texture and full-on watermelon fruit.  So pink you can picture ice cubes and a straw in it.  Pricey for what it is.



2008 Murrieta's Well The Spur (Red blend) $22
Full bodied and strong, with a deliberately crafted structure.  A serious wine with density, balance, and integration.  Big, but balanced in a package that surprises.  Long, long finish.  This wine could go some distance in the cellar.  Qualit justifies the price with aplomb.  Love finding this kind of quality outside Napa/Sonoma.



2008 Murrieta's Well Anniversary Blend (Cabernet/Tempranillo) $50
Fifty bones is a lot to spend on a bottle.  Period.  Pile on that most people have never of where this is from and that it's an oddball blend and, well, it's a hard sell.  As far as the good go, this is indeed a very refined wine - big, tannic, and denseley packed, even afer 2 days open.  Tempranillo adds character.  A lovely wine, but falls short of justifying its price tag.

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