Artesa Winery - 2006 Carneros Estate Reserve Pinot Noir

The last wine from Artesa Winery I'm looking at right now is their 2006 Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir. Coming up in the near future I'll look at a couple from one of their sister Wineries. I first had this particular Pinot a couple of months back at a large scale tasting. It left an impression and I made a note to re-taste it and take a closer look. Just over 3,000 cases of the Artesa Winery 2006 Carneros Estate Reserve Pinot Noir were produced. The grapes were harvested from Artesa's best Pinot Noir blocks and aged in French Oak. The suggested retail price for this wine is $40.

Dark cherry, violets, spice and palpable mineral notes make up the nose of this wine. My first sip found the wine to be a bit reticent. I returned to it after decanting for 45 minutes and found it had really started to blossom. Dried raspberry, nutmeg and an earthy mushroom undertone come out throughout the palate. This Pinot Noir won't hit you over the head; rather its subtle charms sneak up on you and steal your attention with its complex, layered impressive palate. This continues through a finish that's well above average in length and an impressive microcosm of the rest of the wine. Subtle dark cherry, spice notes and persistent earth are the notes that stay the longest. This Pinot Noir has excellent structure and good acidity. It drinks incredibly well on its own and will pair with many diverse dishes.

What I like best about this offering is that it fulfills the promise of the high quality Pinot Noir that can emerge from Carneros, one of the handful of classic Pinot Noir growing regions in California.

Look for this wine to improve over the next 2-3 years and drink well for at least 2-4 after that. An excellent Pinot Nor, and my favorite of the Artesa selections I looked at these last few days.

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