Amazing how you know exactly what something is going to taste like before the cork is pulled. Sorry, but I visited Artesa when they first opened in Carneros and as I walked up that amazing pyramid with the cascading water slip, I knew this was not going to be a wine-style for me. And it wasn’t. Now, 20 years later, my memory of the wines I tasted that day are piqued by seeing ‘Artesa’ on a label. But let’s hope not, shall we? Smile through it… Open mind… Nothing pre-disposed… All that crap. No. This is a thin, mechanically-fruited, structure-less, over-glycerined, OAK-BOMB. Nothing has changed. Just an absolutely BEAUTIFUL color–positively VIBRANT, deep and glowing–the most amazing crystal-clear Ruby you have ever seen. Sweet wonderful Aunt-Jemima bouquet with a generous scoop of spice and Asian florals and elixars with touch of AL and wet cardboard. Sweet and thin on the tongue with no substantial fruit apparent, just sweetness and oak slowly fading into a slight acid and what I can only imagine are the “Smooth Tannins” described on the label. I think this is probably an international label or a food-service label for major hotel-chain or airline, but it follows very close to the Artesa mantra they launched with: Pretty Vacant.
2009 ARTESA ELEMENTS Meritage Napa Valley 14.6