SRP of $19.99 and available at that price. 580 cases produced. Sample submitted for review.
From the bottle:
"Artesana is an ultra-premium boutique winery located in the acclaimed Canelones region of Uruguay. Tannat (originally from France) is the signature varietal of Uruguay and produces balanced, full-bodied wines with ripe fruit flavors and an exotic, spicy character.
Artesana's unique artisan wines are made from 100% estate-grown grapes and handcrafted by our two exceptional women winemakers. Wines are made in small lots fermented separately, aged for 12 months in the highest quality French and American oak, custom blended, and bottled without fining or filtration. Rich and velvety, this Tannat-Merlot blend exhibits lush black and red fruit layered with allspice, ripe tannins and toasty oak, converging in a round lingering finish.
Today's wine is another example of the good things happening in Uruguay. You may remember ourTannat Tuesday series from a few months ago, where we reviewed several 100% Tannat wines from Uruguay and came away very impressed. Today's wine left us just as impressed, but before we get to the review I have to vent.
In researching this wine a bit I came across a review from one of the major wine magazines that described it as having "a note of just-run horse and saddle". Seriously? It smells like sweaty horse? And the average person is supposed to know what this even smells like? Funny thing is they actually liked the wine! Take a look at our Ten Tenets of Reverse Wine Snobbery if you want to know why we'll never describe a wine in such a pretentious and ridiculous manner.
The 2011 Artesana Tannat-Merlot needs a couple of hours to open up but when it does you'll find fantastic aromas of succulent dark fruit, spice, a little leather and mint. Tasting this full-bodied wine reveals loads of rich dark fruit, substantial tannins, great balance and a full and slightly chewy mouthfeel. Secondary notes of licorice and dark chocolate add complexity. It ends dry with tart dark fruit and more dark chocolate notes on the grippy finish. A bold and oh so tasty wine that thankfully neither tastes nor smells anything like "just-run horse and saddle".
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.