In the rush to mythologize Oregon, and now New Zealand’s, Pinot Noirs, some wonderful releases from California’s cooler regions can get lost in the shuffle. So it is with today’s example, the 2015 Artesa Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir located in the Carneros region of Napa Valley. This wine is a joy to drink with or without food; its ripe mouth-pleasing texture a vindication of the Spanish firm of Codorníu’s investment in California 25 years ago. (By the way, Artesa’s “regular” 2015 Pinot Noir bottling is a also a lovely wine in a lighter, simpler style. For $25, it is another excellent release. 88/100 points)
2015 Artesa Pinot Noir, Estate Vineyard, Los Carneros $45 srp
Light ruby to garnet in color. A very pure, spicy nose of cranberry, strawberry and vanilla with a smoky touch blended in. Flavors favor a bold, cherry liqueur element with a warm medium-bodied palate and an almost sweet impression, (due to ultimate ripeness). It has a juicy finish with a touch of citrus that keeps it refreshing. Thoroughly enjoyable, drink it with poultry, lentils and rice or a piece of dark chocolate! Drink now-2022.