Artesa Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2008
Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
2008 was another drought year in Napa Valley, making the vines relatively less vigorous with smaller berries. Bud break in Artesa's Carneros vineyard occurred the usual time -- from mid to late March -- but a severe frost limited the crop size even further. The vineyard team worked hard through the season to ensure even ripeness among the berries. A long heat spell the first week of September signaled the beginning of harvest, however the temperature soon dropped drastically and the weather stayed cool and dry for the rest of the month. Our estate Pinot Noir grapes were hand harvested in September at full maturity.
Heady aromas of raspberry, cherry and wild strawberry jump from the glass, tinged with notes of anise and coriander. Pure and vibrant, the wine delivers sweet red cherry and berry flavors that pick up spicy notes of clove and cinnamon and a hint of toffee on the finish. Fruit concentration, bright acidity and velvety tannins are the hallmarks of this estate-grown Pinot Noir.
Connoisseurs' Guide - "Starting off with focused red cherry aromas and following from there with nuances of dried spices hinting at nutmeg and a hint of cinnamon, the wine fully lives up to its fine aromatic start by delivering flavors that are at once reasonably deep yet vital and impeccably balanced and fairly long at the finish. Although not a wine of great sinew, it is firm and brisk at this point and has the stuff to age well for three to five years."
Wine Spectator - "Spicy and rich, with ripe plum, blackberry and black cherry flavors. There's good intensity and depth, with firm tannins and a tight focus. Finishes with a dash of smoky notes. Drink now through 2019. 4,028 cases made."
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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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