Thursday, July 9, 2009

Why Artesa Winery is so cool...

I mentioned how much I enjoy Artesa's Carneros Chardonnay, but that's only one wine in a great line-up. We discovered many of them when we visited the winery recently, and fell in love with the place, the people, and the wines.

Artesa is a landmark in Napa/Sonoma. It sits atop a rolling hill in Carneros -- or actually, it IS a hilltop. To build this very contemporary winery and tasting room, they cut the top off a hill, put up a pyramid-shaped building, and then put the top of the hill back on. There is literally grass growing on the winery. Sounds weirds, but go to their website,, and see cool pictures.

Artesa is also known for having the best views in Napa. On a clear day, you can see San Francisco, as well as beautiful rolling hillsides and vineyards. And to gild the lily, there are wonderful gardens, fountains, and contemporary art all over the place.

OK, so it looks good. But it tastes good too:
* Artesa Carneros Pinot Noir has classic flavors of black cherry and smoke, with a velvety mouthfeel and soft finish.
* Artesa Elements is a Cabernet/Merlot blend that's rich with plum fruit and vanilla and a round, plush finish.
* Artesa Cabernet Napa/Sonoma uses grapes from both growing regions. The Napa fruit brings structure and depth to the blend, while the Sonoma grapes lend a rich chocolate undertone. Yummy!
* Artesa Tempranillo is very hedonistic. It's so jammy with blackraspberry and vanilla that it teeters on the edge of port-like. This would be a great wine to sip after dinner with nothing but a plate of milk chocolte and dark chocolate chunks.

All these wines are priced in the mid $20's, so while they're not everyday-cheap, they are great value for top-quality Napa wines. Please try one, and let me know what you think.


No comments:

Post a Comment