Lots of Artisans

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Artisan Family of Wines

Recently, Jeff Miller of Artisan Family of Wines contacted me about sampling some of his wines.  Artisan Family is currently producing 3 labels, Sly Dog Cellars, Seven Artisans, and Red Cote. Jeff and his wife own a small vineyard in Napa and 40 acres in Suisun Valley.  Jeff is a recovering attorney (there seem to be a lot of those in the wine industry…so maybe it will work out for me someday too!) who does the wine-making for the company.  He also maintains a blog that you should check out…it’s interesting to me to a read no punches held look at how he does business.  With that said, I chose to first try the 2006 Seven Artisans Meritage.  The wine had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.1% alcohol by volume, and retails for $17.99.  The Meritage is a blend of mostly Merlot (technically this could be called a Merlot, it has 89.5% Merlot), Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Verdot. The fruit comes from Suisun Valley.

On the nose I found chocolate covered cherries, raisins, black currants, plums, raisinets, vanilla, and a bit of oak.  The chocolate candy definitely jumped out of the glass at me, and the Merlot definitely was the star here.  In the mouth, I found the fruit to be much redder and more tart than I expected based on the nose.  I got red raspberries, Luden’s cherry cough drops (anyone remember those? My mom used to give them to me when I had a sore throat and they tasted just like cherry candy!), cherries, an earthy quality, spice, and a hint of chocolate on the back palate.  I almost thought I got a bit of a meaty note as well.  Overall, this wine is structured with good acidity, and nice tannins.  It’s not a fruity soft in your face Merlot, so if that’s what you’re looking for, look elsewhere.  Pair this with a spiced pork loin in my opinion!

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4 Responses

  1. I liked to eat the Ludens in school way back then because the teachers considered them to be medicine while I liked them as a candy. Anyways, I wish I had your smell and taste abilities!! I have read that women have greater senses as wine tasters then men. Is that true? It certainly is in my case. I don’t smell or taste nearly as much as most people do!! Great reports Sonadora, thanks!

  2. Ludens is a note that checks in on quite a few disjointed Valpolicella Ripassos, but haven’t come across it in Merlot-dominated blends. Interesting.

  3. Thanks Jo!

    I have read that too Arlie, but I know lots of men who taste and smell just as well as the women I know. I think practice makes perfect, taste and smell lots of wine and you will continue to get better at identifying flavors and aromas.

    I haven’t either Evan, but I didn’t mind it at all, I liked Ludens :)

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