Artesa Carneros Chardonnay 2009
Chardonnay from Carneros, California
The Chardonnay vineyards for this blend span the entire cool climate Carneros appellation, where temperatures are moderated by persistent morning fog, cool afternoon breezes and the adjoining San Pablo Bay. During growing season the sun burns off fog by late morning and the temperatures rise quickly. At the same time, hot air rising above the Central Valley is replaced by cool air funneling through the Petaluma Wind Gap off the Pacific Ocean. The combination of sunshine and cool temperatures results in gradual maturation of the grapes, allowing them to develop great natural acidity and deep fruit flavor.
A brilliant straw yellow, this Chardonnay opens with heady aromas of lime, apple, apricot and pineapple, spiked with appealing hints of honeysuckle, oregano and tarragon. Its lively entry – from the wine's natural acidity -- is accompanied by layers of citrus and tropical fruit flavors. An underlying mineral component, along with the subtle influence of French oak, adds intrigue. This is a classic Carneros Chardonnay, finishing crisply and beckoning for another taste.
Wine Enthusiast - "Artesa's dual fermentation approach, in which oak-barrel and stainless-steel-tank fermentation are used, has resulted in this startlingly appealing Chardonnay. Braced with Carneros acidity, it shows mineral-infused orange, lemon and mango flavors, with a smooht coating of toasty oak."
Artesa Vineyards and Winery
Artesa's architecturally-acclaimed facility opened as Codorniu Napa in 1991, dedicated solely to méthode champenoise sparkling wine production. But in 1997, with the arrival of a world-class winemaker and a $10 million conversion, the winery shifted focus dramatically. Artesa was born with the inaugural release of ultra-premium still wines in September 1999.
Artesa (ahr TESS uh) means "craftsman" and connotes "handcrafted" in Catalan, language of Barcelona and their owner, Codorníu, one of the world's largest and oldest wineries. The Codorníu Group actually consists of six spectacular wineries whose wines are enjoyed daily in over 100 countries around the globe. So, while Artesa is a relative newcomer to Napa, their heritage is rich. They share five centuries of history with 15 generations of a remarkable winemaking family. View all Artesa Vineyards and Winery Wines
About CarnerosView a map of Carneros wineries
Technically a part of Napa Valley, the Carneros region straddles both Sonoma & Napa counties. It's the Napa region closest to the San Francisco peninsula and the San Pablo Bay, which is instrumental in controlling the climate of the area. The winds from the San Pablo bay create a cool weather pattern ideal for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Notable FactsBoth Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Carneros are delicate, yet complex, with firm structure and acidity. And while the pair are the most popular varieties of the region, some winemakers have branched out, particularly with Syrah. The cool climate Syrah of Carneros is well structured and stylistically similar to Syrah from the Northern Rhone, though often fuller-bodied.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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