The newly released 2017 Artesana Cabernet Franc Merlot Reserva marks another milestone for this up and coming boutique winery. In the hands of two highly skilled women, Analía Lazaneo and Valentina Gatti, this unique offering combine two of Bordeaux’s most prestigious varietals to create a boldly flavored wine that is both complex and polished. As is the case with all of Artesana’s wines, the 2017 Artesana Cabernet Franc Merlot Reserva comes endowed with a deep purple complexion. Yet, it is what captures the nose and fills the mouth that deserves the greatest laud. An impressive array of savory scents and flavors in the form of crushed blackberry, cassis, and mulberry infused with hints of dark chocolate, unsmoked tobacco, and an intriguing herbaceous note grace the nose and mouth. Underlying the fruit and savory aspects of this wine is a solid core of ripe tannins that provide real energy and lift in addition to the promise of a long, flavor-filled life. Enjoy this exclusive offering now and over the next decade. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest affording the 2017 Artesana Cabernet Franc Merlot Reserva at least 30 minutes of aeration before consuming at cool room temperature (60-62° F). Enjoy!
Uruguay, like neighboring Argentina and Chile, thrives on pairing its rich red wines with some of the planet’s finest beef. With that in mind, we can think of no better accompaniment to Artesana’s robust 2017 Cabernet Franc Merlot Reserva than the finest cuts of beef, preferably in the form of Beef Wellington or a juicy New York Strip topped with Portobello mushrooms. Short ribs and sliders offer wonderful accompaniments, too. Yet, strong cheeses, charcuterie, and roast lamb rubbed with garlic and herbs pair beautifully with this wine as well. Roast pork with green olives, pepper, rosemary and mint also makes a case for itself. Grilled Italian sausages and a host of vegetarian specialties, including a vegetarian paella or cassoulet, provide other tasty accompaniments to this special wine, while duck or spit roasted chicken rubbed with garlic and Herbes de Provence provides yet another tasty companion to the rich, stylish 2017 Artesana Cabernet Franc Merlot Reserva – Artesana’s newest star. Buen Provecho!
Artesana’s robust 2017 Cabernet Franc Merlot Reserva offers the perfect foil to flavorful cow and sheep’s milk cheeses. Aged Gouda, Roquefort, Bleu d’Auvergne, Cantal and Pont l’Eveque are just a few flavorful cheeses that make ideal companions to Artesana’s hearty Cabernet Franc Merlot Reserva. To enjoy more superb wine and cheese pairings or to learn more about the world’s finest cheeses, contact us at www.cheesemonthclub.com.
Editor’s Note: The 2017 Artesana Cabernet Franc Merlot Reserva is an International Wine of the Month Club exclusive from Artesana winery, which has been previously named Uruguay Winery of the Year by the New York International Wine Competition.
Uruguay, a South American oasis of peace and stability, has been making good wine for centuries, most of which heretofore has been consumed by the small but prosperous local population. Yet, in recent years the rich, full-bodied wines of Uruguay have begun to flow north and find favor in “El Norte.” In the last five years, the trickle has become a steady flow, as new and longtime producers in Uruguay continue to raise the quality bar and embark upon the search for additional markets for their country’s distinctive wines. Yet, unlike Uruguay’s South American neighbors, Argentina and Chile, Uruguay is a country of small-scale, family-owned wineries with a European winemaking tradition. And, as an added note, Uruguay is considered to have one of the purest vineyard environments in the world, ranking 3rd after Norway and Finland in the Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI) in 2005.
Artesana appears as one of Uruguay’s newest and most exciting small estate wineries. It is located in Uruguay’s acclaimed Canelones winegrowing region, where the temperate coastal Atlantic climate produces growing conditions that are often compared to that of Bordeaux. Artesana is owned by an engaging American woman, Leslie Fellows, and her uncle. Award-winning Uruguayan winemakers, Analía Lazaneo and Valentina Gatti, handcraft iconic wines that express the unique terroir of the estate vineyard. Wines are made in small lots with minimal intervention, allowing the character of the fruit to be expressed. As the estate’s name implies, Artesana is truly an artisanal affair as all of Artesana’s handcrafted wines are made with 100% estate-grown grapes that showcase Uruguay’s distinctive terroir and preeminence with Bordeaux varietals as well as Uruguay’s signature grape variety – Tannat.
In addition to growing glorious Tannat, Artesana produces excellent Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Zinfandel from the estate’s 20 acre vineyard. Artesana currently releases three exceptional Tannat based wines, a 100% Tannat offering, a Tannat/Merlot/Zinfandel, and a Tannat Rosé, in addition to the winery’s most recent release, a delicious Cabernet Franc Merlot Reserva (this month’s feature). Furthermore, Artesana’s vineyard is completely hand-farmed using sustainable Integrated Pest Management (IPM), low-input, and dry farming to maintain the long-term health of the land. Vines are meticulously tended to produce low yield, high quality fruit and are field-selected and hand harvested. Moreover, all of the estate’s red wines are brought up in a combination of French and American oak barrels and are bottled unfiltered and un-fined.
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