2007 Artesa Chardonnay Carneros (91 pts, $20)

    2007 Artesa Chardonnay, Carneros

    OUT OF100
    more wine
    VERDICT: "Smashing stuff"
    Chardonnay, 14.3%% alc.
    $20 (try Costco for discounts)
    www.artesawinery.com Review by Clinton Stark

    This Chardonnay is one of my two favorites Artesa wines. The other is their Pinot, just the regular non-reserve one (classic tier). At a recent tasting Loni and I both agreed that these were the standouts, especially at the price. It was our one year anniversary as club members and we were able to buy 1 case at a 50% discount. We chose the Pinot since it would pair well with Loni’s cooking. But this Chardonnay was a close call and is strongly recommended.

    High in the Carneros hills, you’ll know you’re at Artesa when you see sweeping vistas of the entire Napa Valley. It’s distinctive modern architecture is a break from the traditional Mediterranean decor you’ll typically experience at other wineries.

    This ’07 Chardonnay is a great example of what makes the cool Carneros region ideal for both Chards and Pinots. It’s not overly-oaked as so many people seem to be complaining about these days. There is oak there (malolactic fermentation in French oak), but thankfully it is balanced by a wave of minerality and a hint of butterscotch. No doubt this has strong Chardonnay character. The finish is smooth, refreshing.

    Note that this is made by the former winemaker, David Dobson. Marc Beringer is now at the reigns and it will be interesting to see what style and approach he brings to Artesa. A few months back Loni talked with Marc on a Wine Tales podcast available here.

    Mean time look for this Artesa Chardonnay at your local Costco.  A great price for a great wine. 33,000 cases. Pair it with salmon, or strongly flavored chicken dishes. It’s not a light, fruity wine.

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