2006 Artesa Pinot Noir, Carneros (92 pts, $25)

    2006 Artesa Pinot Noir, Carneros

    92
    OUT OF100
    more wine
    VERDICT: "Smashing stuff"
    Carneros
    Pinot Noir, 13.9%% alc.www.artesawinery.com

    A few months back I wrote about the ’07 Artesa Chardonnay (91 pts, $20) which is a nice white, great bang for the buck. At the time, while enjoying a tasting flight in Artesa’s scenic, glassy members area, we were deciding between a case of that or the Pinot. We opted for the later, since it’s a signature wine and plus it pairs so well with so many of our favorite foods.

    We’ve been whipping through the case. Some bottles have found their way to parties, but most have found their way into the hands (and mouth) of yours truly. When I’m in doubt, spending too long on Cellartracker or standing befuddled in our cellar, I simply grab a bottle of this ’06 Pinot. And it never disappoints.

    It wouldn’t be my first choice for a bold, big evening of wine. This Pinot, like many, is laid back, light in color, elegant in finish. It’s not a Hummer. But that’s okay.

    On the nose it’s a subtle mix of red cherries, and some smokiness (just a little). I like the vanilla on finish, and again, plenty of red berries like currants. It’s dialed back on the tannins. For some that may concern. But for me it worked well.

    Get it while you can, just in time for the holidays.

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