Artisan by Artesa 'Jacqueline's Vineyard' Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
By Jonathan H. Newman*
2011 ALEXANDER VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON
UNIT SIZE: 750.00ml
VARIETAL: Cabernet Sauvignon
GRAPE: Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot
COUNTRY: United States
REGION: Alexander Valley
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 14.50%
This Vineyard is one of the Alexander Valley’s top properties for producing big, delicious mountain Cabernet. Mark Beringer was the winemaker for many years and helped build the storied reputation for Duckhorn and is making beautiful wine now at Artesa. Since the Vineyard name was purchased by Duckhorn Winery, the previous owner Artesa Winery has one last vintage that it is releasing before the grapes will be owned by Duckhorn Winery. Duckhorn has a solid reputation and this Vineyard will certainly be a crown jewel in their outstanding portfolio. Under the leadership of Artesa Winery, this Vineyard has received fine accolades for the sensational and consistent quality of their big robust Mountain Cabernet. 2011 was a tiny vintage and Artesa used only the best fruit, which was picked late (at the end of October to ensure ripeness). It spent 18 months in all French Oak, 45% of which was new. The Vineyard has an average elevation of 900 feet and parts span as high as 1,700 feet. A deep purple hue. An intriguing nose of dense Cabernet with primarily dark red fruit including black raspberries, and stone fruit. This wine is packed and dense, and yet has a very pleasing mouth feel with tannins that are rounding into shape nicely. This wine is quite complex with blackberries, black cherries, sweet vanilla oak, blueberries and violets with touches of crushed rocks and licorice. Should age nicely and cellar aging is recommended. I just returned from the iconic Bern’s steak house in Tampa (that has a spectacular wine list) and this wine will pair nicely with many of their specialties including steak Tartare, Lamb T-Bone, Porterhouse steaks, Charcoal Grilled chopped steak in their house mushroom sauce and Veal Chops in a Port Wine reduction.
By Artesa Vineyards & Winery
2011 Artisan by Artesa Cabernet Sauvignon - Jacqueline’s Vineyard
Varietal Composition: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot
Appellation: Alexander Valley
Harvest: October 2011
Alc by Vol: 14.50%
RS: 0. 05,
TA: 0.79 G/L,
Cooperage: 100% French Oak (45% new) for 18 months
This Artisan Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Jacqueline’s vineyard. Located in Sonoma County’s renowned Alexander Valley appellation, the vineyard spans 900 vertical feet of elevation, ranging from 300 to 1700 feet above sea level. The vines are planted in an east-west exposure for maximum sunlight and for ideal drainage. The soils are layered with limestone creating a truly unique site for growing premium Bordeaux varieties of grapes.
The grapes for this wine were picked over several days in late October. The grapes were gently de-stemmed but not crushed into stainless steel tanks and allowed to cold soak for a period of 24 hours 45 degrees in order to extract color and flavor. The tanks were then warmed and allowed to ferment to dryness and left on skin for a short extended maceration period. Each lot was tasted daily by the winemaker in order to determine the optimum time to press the wine from the skins. The wine was then aged in French oak barrels for a period of 18 months with 45% of the wood being new.
Ripe jammy fruit are the initial aromas with blackberries, cherries, black currents and blueberries. Has rich fruit on the palate that are in the bright red realm. Raspberries and cherries mixed with soft yet rich tannins give this wine a very layered appeal. Finish is long with a hint of chocolate and French oak.
[Info Provided By J.H.N]
*Jonathan Newman was Wine Enthusiasts’ Man of the Year. He also was Chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and received national recognition in Marvin Shanken’s Market Watch Magazine and many other international wine publications. He was also awarded the Guild of Sommeliers highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Newman's reviews have been published and quoted extensively online and in print. He travels extensively to many of the major wine growing regions and evaluates many of the wines we source from smaller and boutique wineries. We interact closely with him and the result is his rejection rate of over 96% of the wines evaluated.