2008 Murrieta’s Well “The Spur” Red Blend, Livermore Valley

Murrieta’s Well “The Spur” Red Blend

The Murrieta’s Well “The Spur” Red Blend is another upscale wine with Stelvin enclosure (screw cap). I really wish more wineries would take this route with their bottling line. I know I am taking a risk and stirring the debate over corks versus screw caps and I know one is more ecologically sound, so why do the producers of wines with high quality natural cork, more often than not, insist on leaving a huge carbon footprint with the extremely heavy glass they choose to bottle in?

But this story is about Murrieta’s Well Winery so let’s not sully the fine history this winery has with that debate. This winery has a connection with another California wine legend, the Wente family also from Livermore Valley. In the 1880’s Louis Mel falls in love with the Livermore Valley and buys a 92-acre estate the locals affectionately call “Murrieta’s Well.” Mel is captivated by the unusually gravelly soil linked to some of the great vineyard sites of France. He builds a gravity-flow winery into the hillside and imports cuttings from renowned Chateau d’Yquem and Chateau Margaux and plants them on the property. The winery changed hands in the 1930’s when Wente buys the property from his neighbor Mel and makes sacrificial wines during prohibition. In the 1990’s the estate is resurrected when Phillip Wente forms a partnership with winemaker Sergio Traverso and revitalizes the property and the label.

The Spur has a varietal blend that is unique (54% Cabernet Sauvignon 23% Petit Verdot 10% Petite Sirah 9% Cabernet Franc 4% Malbec), which produces a wine with aromas flavors and textures that transcend the definitive characteristics the individual components of this wine. So many wineries today use their blending program to move juice they could not sell as single vineyard estate wines. At Murrieta’s Well they blend to build the best product they can produce.

The many varietals used for this wine brings layers of complexity that are evident in its intensity of flavors. If this wine was a song it would be a little bit of country and a little rock and roll. It is rustic and racy, yet smooth, lush and provocative. I would pull this wine out for celebratory events with fine dining cuisine and impress my guests or just as easily have it with summertime grill favorites. A huge bargain and an unusual find, it makes a perfect wine for gifting because it is so special any collector will cherish it. I personally can picture the scenario if I was to gift this wine to someone. It would be hard to get it out of my hands if I think about how fabulous it tastes as I was handing it over. To avoid this I suggest you keep some of it in your own stash of wines at all times. Absolutely MacDaddy Marc approved.

Rating: Excellent (91) | $22 | 14.5% ABV


About the Author:

Marc has held almost every position in the food & wine industry and is committed to Celebrating Hospitality with Pride. In addition to being the co-founder and editor-at-large for Enobytes, Marc is a wine blogger contributor to OregonLive.com (Wine Bytes) and writes the Wine Knowledge column in the print magazine About Face. The Contra Costa County Times, San Jose Mercury News, Tacoma Times Tribune and Washington Post have either interviewed or quoted Marc on his viniferous and culinary opinions. Marc has also appeared on Portland's "Vine Time" on News Radio 750 KXL and on California's Central Coast "From the Growing of the Grape to the Glass" on KUHL-AM 1410. He is also the author of A History of Pacific Northwest Cuisine: Mastodons to Molecular Gastronomy. While continuing to tenaciously search for what he may finally proclaim as his favorite wine Marc is relentless in his quest for the ultimate food and wine experience.


  1. Samantha September 16, 2011 at 5:09 PM - Reply

    I’ve had this wine but I think it was the 2007 vintage. It was good!

    • enobytes September 18, 2011 at 9:12 PM - Reply

      …and try the 2008 which was equally good :)

  2. Austin Andy September 17, 2011 at 5:40 PM - Reply

    Samantha, check this –

    A magic blend with a magnificent history, worth seeking out, if you do not happen to live in the Livermore Valley contact the winery, join their wine club, it’s a good deal very exclusive access to wines they do not distribute. That’s hat drew me in. That show with Dirty Vegas was rockin too not the usual over the hill bands that play at wineries. Loved the wines and the show.

    • enobytes September 18, 2011 at 9:12 PM - Reply

      Thanks for the tips Austin Andy!

  3. Christopher September 18, 2011 at 11:07 AM - Reply

    Sounds interesting, I’ll try it!

    • enobytes September 18, 2011 at 9:13 PM - Reply

      This red is definitely worth seeking out. Enjoy Christopher.

  4. Steven Yonts November 8, 2014 at 6:23 PM - Reply

    I am presently enjoying the 2008 as I post this. Exceptional !!!

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