58 World-Renowned Wines
In the 1980s, the historic Spanish winemaking family Codorníu Raventós began to acquire and develop vineyard land in the Carneros region of Napa Valley. Opened in 1991 as Codorníu Napa, a sparkling wine house, the winery ultimately transitioned to producing still wines as successive vintages revealed the quality and potential of the family's vineyard holdings. The winery was renamed Artesa - Catalan for "handcrafted" - in 1997, and has since become a leading producer of artisan wines from the varietals for which Carneros and Napa Valley are best known: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Codorníu Raventós is still family owned and is the oldest company in Spain with a winemaking legacy in the Penedès region near Barcelona that dates back to 1551. Today, Codorníu Raventós owns wineries in Spain, Argentina and California, and brings generations of expertise to Artesa.
Delicious drinkability is the hallmark of this Pinot Noir, which comes from the winery's vineyard in the Carneros District. The wine is dry and silky, with complex flavors of berries, cherries and spices, brightened with brisk acidity.
Bright medium gold color. Bright, fruity, fresh oaky aromas of green apples - pineapple, shellac - varnish, underbrush - garrigue, and lemon pith with a lively, dryish full body and a peppery, intricate, medium-length finish with chewy tannins and light oak.
Golden yellow color. Aromas of vanilla custard, spiced apple and pineapple with silky, fruity-yet-spry medium-to-full body and a tangy sweet citrus, praline and crème Anglaise accented finish. A solid sophisticated chardonnay that artfully balances fruit and oak.
For the last few years, Artesa has produced one of the best Chardonnays in its price tier in all California. Once again, they've hit the sweet spot with the 2010. It's rich and creamy, with orange, pineapple, crème brûlée, and buttered toast flavors.
Yellow-gold hue. Upfront aromas of toasted oak, caramel, vanilla and butterscotch. Expansive flavors of ripe apple and peach with drying mineral aspects. Lasting fruit impressions with lingering oak nuances and lemon drop freshness.
Long known for their elegant wines. the Artesa pinot noir does not disappoint. With red and black fruit on the nose and palate, the wine has plenty of character and the flavor profile of a winning wine. A long and balanced finish contributes to its obvious level of quality.
Artesa's dual fermentation approach, in which oak-barrel and stainless steel tank fermentation are used, has resulted in this startlingly appealing Chardonnay. Braced with Carneros acidity, it shows mineral infused orange, lemon and mango flavors, with a smooth coating of toasty oak.
More complex Chardonnays to be had, but it is a tasty, well-fruited drink that is priced for guilt-free enjoyment. Good Value. Deeply draughted Chardonnay fruit is teamed with a wealth of very rich oak at every turn here, but the two work.
Ruby color. Bright aromas of spicy sour cherry pie, toasty chocolate granola and coffee beans and grilled apples with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a savory beet, roasted nut and blood orange accented finish. Very precise and chiseled flavors and acidity that will shine at the table.
Starting off with focused red cherry aromas and following from there with nuances of dried spices hinting at nutmeg and a hint of cinnamon, the wine fully lives up to its fine aromatic start by delivering flavors that are at once reasonably deep.
Three-plus years in the bottle have been kind to this Pinot, letting the parts meld together. The oak is knitting with the cherry, raspberry and cola fruit, resulting in a creamy-sweet mouthfeel. Very nice, and should hold over the next 4-6 years.
But I always come back to this Chardonnay. I've seen it at Costco too, so if you see it, know you're getting a deal. There is oak there (malolactic fermentation in French oak), but thankfully it is balanced by a wave of minerality and a hint of butterscotch.
A beautifully elegant, refined Chardonnay. Because it's not overloaded with oak, it displays the basic finesse of the grapes from this cool-climate vineyard. Crisp and dry, it's rich and complex in citrus, tropical fruit, peach, mineral and honeysuckle flavors, at a fair price. Editor's Choice.
$20. Top Carneros Chardonnay can sell for twice the price but don't let this wine's price tag fool you, there's quality in the bottle.
Ruby color. Aromas of sour cherry compote, supple leather purse and faint pickled beets with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a seamless blackberry and herb accented finish. A effortless sipper or table companion.
BEST BUY. The classic red cherry flavors of Carneros Pinot mark this wine from beginning to end, cool, fresh and precisely drawn. It's a clear statement of the region, lovely in its simplicity.
Marked by exotic smoke, toasted marshmallow, fig and honeydew melon, this is full-bodied complex and layered. Drink now through 2013.
Spicy and rich, with ripe plum, blackberry and black cherry flavors. There's good intensity and depth, with firm tannins and a tight focus. Finishes with a dash of smoky notes.
BEST BUY. Clean and Mild, this Chardonnay has scents of cider apples and smoke. It's a simple, balanced white for aperitifs.
Medium-light golden yellow; attractive, clean, floral, green apple and white peach aroma with hints of toasty oak; medium-full to full body; plush peach and green apple flavors with firm acidity and a crisp finish.
Golden yellow color. Attractive aromas and flavors of pineapple, coconut, and green apple with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a nutty oak, vanilla, Meyer lemon, chestnut honey accented finish. A nice oaky chardonnay.
Top notes of sweet oak and fresh butter provide a slight boost in richness to the otherwise well-fruited aromas of this handsome youngster, and its moderately deep, nicely filled flavors show the same careful alignment of ripe apples and rich oak. Supple, solid and fairly full on the palate, yet always balanced and showing a spark of brightness as well, the wine firms up but is enjoyable now even as it promises better in time.
Medium-light golden yellow; attractive, somewhat tight, toasty, green apple and white peach aroma with overtones of vanilla; full body; plush, ripe peach and apple flavors with a full, creamy mouthfeel; a bit hard and woody on the finish.
Bright dusty garnet color. Bright, attractive, savory aromas of roasted berries and nuts, caramelized bacon, and peppercorns with a supple, vibrant, dryish medium body and a warming, refreshing, medium-long marinated beet and reduced lemon finish with dusty tannins and light oak. A nice, dry, savory pinot for the table.
Fresh and juicy, featuring lively white peach, tangerine, nectarine and citrus blossom flavors that reveal a light dash of creamy oak. Ends with a long, lingering finish. Drink now.
Medium-light yellow; attractive, fragrant, slightly nutty, pear and green apple aromas with floral notes and a touch of vanilla; medium to medium-full body; crisp, citrus and green apple flavors with subdued oak and a slight hint of bitterness on the finish.
Intense, vibrant, deceptively complex and elegant, with pretty floral scents and touches of nectarine framed by light toasty oak. Drink now. 22,000 cases made.
Offers a savory, complex mix of dried berry, mint and bay leaf flavors, ending with a loamy, earthy, tannic note. Better than previously reviewed.
Offers a savory, complex mix of dried berry, mint and bay leaf flavors.
Dense and layered, with black cherry, mineral, spice and cedar notes.
A pleasantly rich, vibrant Pinot Noir, made in a lighter style. Shows mouth-filling flavors of raspberries, cherries and toasted oak, with a long, spicy finish. Bright acidity makes for a clean, crisp feel.
Impressive for its density and complexity, this is layered, displaying ripe black cherry, mineral, spice and cedar. Medium to full-bodied, ending with firm tannins and a savory herb and berry edge.
Shows a trim band of citrus, green apple, tangerine and citrus blossom notes, with a clean, snappy finish. Drink now.
Fairly intense and fully ripened with a fair dose of sweet oak in league with its compact, moderately deep fruit, Artesa's Reserve is a Chardonnay of clear ambition and intent, and, even though rounded and slightly oily to start, it tightens and firms up at the finish as befits a young wine. It leaves the impressions that it will have a good deal more to say if allowed to rest for another year or two in the bottle.
Oak sticks out on this Chardonnay, with the aroma and flavor of buttered white toast dominating. But there comes an immediate rush of pineapples, limes and peaches, giving the wine a good balance of wood and fruit, and it's very dry and crisp. At its best now, but don't serve too cold.
This wine, which hails from the Napa side of the sprawling Carneros appellation, is somewhat heavy and full-bodied for a Pinot Noir. Yet it's dry in style and the tannins are light and silky. It might improve with a year or two in the bottle.
Intense, dense and marked by an earthy, minerally edge that gives this a firm structure, with a tight, dense core of dried berry, toasty oak, sage and cedar notes, clamping down on the finish.
Oak scents of bacon and vanilla meld with this wine's creamy fruit, creating a smooth, warm white to chill for cocktails.
Alluring for its creamy texture and complex mix of vanilla, orange blossom, spice and tangerine flavors. Full-bodied, spicy and elegant.
Intense and spicy, with floral, hazelnut, honeysuckle and melon flavors that are pure, focused, complex and lingering.
Bright clear medium light garnet color. Fruity, inviting aromas of red rhubarb, cranberries, pressed linen, and tart cherries with a crisp, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, medium-long finish with fruit well-integrated firm tannings and light oak.
Bright and perky with acidity, along with a delicate, silky mouthfeel, this is a pretty Pinot for drinking now with steak or char-broiled salmon. It has delicious flavors of cherries and pomegranates, along with earthier notes of ripe heirloom tomatoes and sautéed wild mushrooms splashed with Balsamic.
Tightly wound, with intense spice notes and cedar-laced dark berry fruit. The ample tannins contribute to the drying finish. Drink now through 2021.
Crisp and focused, this offers tangy cranberry and cherry flavors that have a strong mineral edge. Distinctive and sleek, with fragrant fresh-cut herbs that fill in on the finish.
A good sound and fairly complex Pinot Noir. Dry and crisp, it shows interesting flavors of cherries, raspberries, cola and smoky oak, with an earthy undertow of mushrooms and spices. Feels light and silky.