Maker: Artezin Wines, Napa, California
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Our Rating: 9 out of 10
Artezin 2004 Zinfandel is our kind of wine. We admit to being prejudiced toward big, bold Zins, and Artezin is one. The nose is nice but unexceptional, mostly the expected berries and spice. On the palate, though, this wine is smooth, rich, and deep... jammy plum, cherry, and blackberry combine with black pepper, woody notes, and soft tannins to produce surprising complexity and a lengthy finish. There's a hint of fruity sweetness, though no more so than for a typical Zin.
Artezin Wines is part of the Hess Group - they have a limited range of wines, just making Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, and Carignan. This particular Zinfandel has grapes from Mendocino County (58%), Sonoma County (25%), and Amador County(17%).
The WineAss blog wasn't nearly as impressed, scoring it a mere 3 out of 5 and summarizing, "Art is Out." The Sacramento Bee commented, "the Artezin went well with the tri-tip not so much for its juicy fruit, which it did have, but for its solid structure and its ample weight, all of which danced gracefully with the richness of the beef. On its own, the wine, which includes 6 percent petite sirah, carries a note of white and black pepper to spice up its gentle blackberry and raspberry fruitiness." Bigger Than Your Head called Artezin a cheapie that "should satisfy just about any palate."
Artezin certainly satisfied OUR palate. If you like big, smooths Zins, give Artezin 2004 a try.