Monday, November 23, 2015

Artesa Vineyards and Winery : 2011 Limited Release Merlot : Review

Artesa 2011 Limited Release Merlot Napa Valley

I'm not normally a Merlot fan.  It just has never been one of my go to wine choices. Until now!

I had several friends recommend Artesa Vineyards & Winery as a place I should visit for a tasting in Napa Valley.  Most cited the stunning views from the tasting room patio and outdoor art sculptures as the best reason to visit.

I wasn't expecting much in the way of great wines, mostly because nobody was saying "You have to go to Artesa, the WINE is amazing!"  They were saying "You have to go to Artesa, the VIEWS are amazing!"

And they are...

View from the front walkway at the entrance, top right.

View from the front walkway at the entrance, top left.

View at the top of the stairs headed to the front door.
A video posted by Shawn Christopher Mooney (@shawndrinkswine) on

What I discovered during our tasting is that at least one of their wines is as spectacular as the views. This would be the 2011 Limited Release Merlot Napa Valley.  I was immediately won over by the very fruit forward wine that is so very, very drinkable.  With a retail price of $40 it's a steal.
Cheers from the Tasting Room's patio at Artesa.
This wine smells of berries and cherries with a hint of spice.  A very smooth wine that dances on the tongue with hints of dark chocolate and has a lasting finish.  This wine pairs well with a variety of foods yet, like a good Cab., I can drink this Merlot by itself on a lazy afternoon with a good book or a good friend.

I now have a favorite Merlot.  Who knew?
Picture from the Tasting Room patio.

At the end of the day, both Shawn and I recommend this Merlot.  We both like it for different reasons but still love it equally.  I'm not going to list foods that we've tried with it, (like I do in most of my reviews) because the list would be too long.  This is a versatile wine and can pair with a wide variety of foods.  Writing this review made both of us check our wine collection and decide to go to Artesa later this afternoon to restock.


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