Artesa Winery - 2005 Napa County/Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon

This week I'll be looking at an array of releases from Artesa Winery in Carneros. They make a combination of widely available releases in various designations combined with a number of smaller productions that balance things out lineup wise. In total I'll be looking at six offerings split between their classic and reserve tiers. No surprisingly for a winery in Carneros Pinot Noir and Chardonnay merit several distinct releases each in the Artesa portfolio. The 2005 Napa/Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from a vineyard above Oakville in the Atlas Peak appellation and a Sonoma property within The Alexander Valley. More than 15,000 cases of this wine were produced and the suggested retail price is $25. Check out wine-searcher though as it can often be found in the mid to upper teens.

The first thing that's apparent about this wine is that it needs time to open up. If you drink it now I highly recommend that you decant it for at least an hour. Once it's had a chance to open up and express itself the nose bursts out with lots of sweet blueberry fruit underscored by vanilla and eucalyptus notes. From the first sip throughout the palate blueberry pie notes are prominent and accompanied by spice notes and subtle earth that lead into a lush, layered finish. The Cabernet is rich and mouth-filling. It's a pretty big wine but within the sub-group of Cabernet Sauvignon its medium bodied.

This effort is drinking pretty pretty nicely now, but time in the bottle will serve it well. A year or so should do wonders, helping the nuances and earthiness that are now subtle on the finish of this wine become far more prominent. There is unfortunately a large amount of bland, anonymous tasting Cabernet Sauvignon coming out of California in this price range. I'm happy to report this is not one of those. This is a fine Cab that over delivers in its price-point when compared to many of its counterparts. Nice effort from Artesa Winery.

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