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Artesa Carneros Chardonnay 2009

Chardonnay from Carneros, California
  • WE91
14.3% ABV
  • JS91
  • WE90
  • WE90
  • WW89
  • CG89
  • W&S89
  • WE92
  • WE90
  • WS90
  • RP89
  • WS87
  • RP90
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4.0 7 Ratings
14.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
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.
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Artesa

Artesa Vineyards and Winery

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Artesa Vineyards and Winery, Carneros, California
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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.

Carneros

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Known for elegant wines that combine power and finesse, Carneros is set in the rolling hills that straddle the southernmost parts of both Sonoma and Napa counties. The cooling winds from the abutting San Pablo Bay, combined with lots of midday California sunshine, create an ideal environment for producing wines with a perfect balance of crisp acidity and well-ripened fruit.

This cooler pocket of California lends itself to growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Carneros is an important source of sparkling wines made in the style of Champagne as well.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

SOU299810_2009 Item# 107776