Artesa 2005 Cabernet: The newest member of the wines that made the cut

It’s been a long time since I added a wine to my favorites list. But this one has earned it. I don’t know where I bought it. And it has been sitting in my “wine cellar” for some time. Tonight I decided to open it and see what it was about. My own tasting notes describe it as full bodied, yet extremely smooth. It has been aged very well and would be an excellent companion to pasta, steak, or really anything (I like it that much.)

release date: september 2008

varietal composition: 85%cabernetsauvignon,5%merlot, 4.5% cabernet franc, 4.5% syrah, 1% malbec
vineyards: napavalley,alexandervalley,knightsvalley
harvest: october&november2005:25.1 ̊brixavg.sugaratharvest
technical data: alc.14.2%byvol.;18,000casesproduced
cooperage: agedfor25mon.in30%new,70%usedfrenchoak

the 2005 vintage
The vines woke up early in 2005 getting an early start. May was very cool and wet, delaying bloom and harvest. This late start could have made for a problematic vintage, but an exceedingly benign and long Indian summer enabled harvest to last almost until Thanksgiving. We were able to harvest each vineyard block at its optimum ripeness. The grapes for this Cabernet Sauvignon were picked during the last week of October, a full two weeks later than usual.

about the vineyard
This wine is a combination of three great Cabernet growing areas; Napa Valley, Alexander Valley and Knights Valley. Napa Valley produces the world’s greatest Cabernets because of its unique ge- ology and climate yielding grapes that have both enough cool hang time and sunshine to develop great depth of flavor with natural acid. Above the Alexander valley floor looms our mountainside estate. Small intensely flavored berries result from our rocky soils and western sun-drenched slopes. All of our vineyards receive extensive hand work to manage correct shoot positioning, crop load and sun exposure. During harvest our winemaker spends 40% of his time inspecting and tasting our vineyards so that everything is handpicked at the peak of ripeness.

The grapes from vineyard blocks going into this wine were hand harvested in early morning. The berries were gently de-stemmed and just barely split open. A fifteen day post-primary fermenta- tion extended maceration period built the mouthfeel and structure of this wine. Only free run wine is used in this wine. This wine goes directly to barrel and malolactic fermentation completes in barrel during aging. The wines were racked several times to incorporate air into the evolving wine and Cabernet France was used to increase aromatic complexity. Syrah was blended in to add some leather and spice and a touch of Malbec to help round the finish.

tasting notes
Vibrant wild blackberry, dark cherry and cassis fruit flavors are enveloped of finely powdered tannin. The finish is dominated by this lively fruit entwined with cocoa, clove, allspice, vanilla, nutmeg and a hint of cedar smoke. This wine has sufficient backbone and acid structure for aging.


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