Artesa Sonoma Merlot 1998
Artesa (ahr TESS uh) means "craftsman" and connotes "handcrafted" in Catalan, language of Barcelona and their owner, Group Raventós-Codorníu –Spain's oldest winemaking family, one of the world's oldest wineries, owner of 14 wineries and exporting to over 100 countries–.
In 1991 , this family ventured to a new world: a sea-facing hillside in the Napa Valley, with rocky soils and a favorable coastal climate. Artesa's architecturally-acclaimed facility opened then, named as Codorniu Napa, and dedicated solely to méthode champenoise sparkling wine production.
The arrival of a world-class winemaker and a $10 million conversión shifted their focus dramatically in 1997. The winery reopened in 1999 with the inaugural release of ultra-premium, estate grown, artesan still wines.
While Artesa is a relative newcomer to Napa, it has received a rich heritage of five centuries of history with 15 generations of a remarkable winemaking family, which are put now at the service of their mission: crafting distinctive wines and sharing them with joy.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.
Sonoma County wines are produced with carefully selected grape varieties to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.
With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.