2010 Wente Louis Mel Sauvignon Blanc Livermore Valley

Wente Louis Mel Sauvignon Blanc Livermore Valley

Wente Louis Mel Sauvignon Blanc Livermore Valley: Clean, clear refreshing wine with a pedigree most people do not know about when they see the Wente label. The namesake for this wine, Louis Mel, bought Murrieta’s Well in the 1880’s. The Wente’s had been growing grapes right next door—they started in 1883. Louis Mel purchased the Murrieta’s Well Estate because it’s gravely soil reminded him of Bordeaux. In fact, he thought the site appropriate enough to acquire vine cuttings from the famed vineyards of Chateau D’Yqem and Chateau Margaux. Those cuttings became the original vines grown at Louis Mel‘s estate Murrieta’s Well which was bought by the Wente family before prohibition but continuously operated through prohibition because they made and sold sacrificial wine. These grapes come from decedents of those original cuttings. The wine starts off with aromas of lightly perfumed white flowers, absolutely no grassiness, or feline expressions. In the mouth, the flavors are strongly pear, citrus, tropical nuances and a hint of freshly crushed dry cardamom seeds. The wine has enough flavors that you appreciate the finish, which is quite pleasant and indicative of the varietal. Some Sauvignon Blanc can have a finish that is so quick it’s over in a blink. This one has a finish that lasts longer and flavors to carry it like a song.

A fantastic food pairing would be clams in white wine and garlic with Italian parsley over linguini—it would sort of be Original Joes style kickin it old school. I love and cherish that dish when done right. This would be the perfect wine to start dinner in a restaurant because it makes a fabulous stand-alone sipper (why do I keep typing zipper first) Freudian? It moves well into the appetizer course with almost everything except deep beef flavors like Carpaccio presented traditionally or a braised beef empanada. That’s covering a lot of ground culinary wise.

Fresh shucked oysters would be a favorite of mine. The brine of the sea is a complimentary aspect not present in this Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor profile. Fresh oysters would round out the full palate if paired with this wine. Dishes made with ginger or lemongrass from any regional Asian cuisine will do well with this wine as long as they are not spicy. This wine is bone dry and spicy. It works well with white wines with just a wee bit of residual sugar. Just a hint of sweetness is what you need with spicy Asian dishes. This is not that style of wine, not like the Gewürztraminer’s John Lundy made when he was at Montinore Estate. Now that was a wine begging for a curry dish. Louis Mel Sauvignon Blanc from Wente Vineyards is a wine that if you buy a case it will probably shock you how quickly it will disappear—a wine for all occasions and a wonderful elixir to imbibe upon after a hard day’s work!

Excellent (90) | $13 | 13.0% 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.

One Comment

  1. Victor deSpiganovicz January 20, 2012 at 1:11 PM - Reply

    Article on Wente- Louis Mel
    Have some history on the louis mel, family going way back, that would like to discuss with you.

    My FATHERS, MOTHER was related to the Mel’s.

    email evspig@wildblue.net

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