Wente Vineyards was founded in 1883 and is “the country's oldest continuously operating, family-owned winery.” The winery is located in Livermore, California, and the Wente Estate is registered as California Historical Landmark #957.
While Wente produces several great varietals of wine, they are known for their Chardonnays: Herman and Ernest Wente released the nation’s first varietally labeled Chardonnay (a 1936 vintage). I sampled two of Wente's four Chardonnays, the Morning Fog and the Riva Ranch, as well as a Merlot and a Pinot Noir.
2012 Morning Fog Chardonnay ($12)
The 2012 Morning Fog Chardonnay is a medium-gold wine riddled with the aroma and flavor of green apple and tropical fruits, and is balanced by light oak and hints of cinnamon and vanilla. This medium- to full-bodied Chardonnay has a medium, refreshing finish with crisp acidity. This wine paired well with Brie.
The 2012 Riva Ranch Chardonnay is a rich, gold colored wine with tropical fruit, honey, and cinnamon on the nose and the palate. The medium-bodied Chardonnay is balanced by a hint of oak, butter, and vanilla. The wine has a nice round mouthfeel and a long finish. Fruity and balanced, this wine paired well with a charcuterie plate.
2010 Sandstone Merlot ($12)
The 2010 Sandstone Merlot is a medium-ruby colored wine with abundant black cherry, blackberry, and plum on the nose and palate, balanced with hints of toasted oak. This Merlot's medium tannins and very smooth mouthfeel leave you with a long, fruity finish. The 2010 Sandstone Merlot paired nicely with grilled peppered steak.
This beautiful ruby-colored Pinot Noir has cherry, strawberry, and vanilla on the nose and palate, balanced with a hint of toasted oak and earthiness. Light tannins and natural acidity give the 2010 Reliz Creek Pinot Noir a a light-body and long finish. This wine paired well withI received samples of Wente Vineyards Wine for my review. All opinions are my own.
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