Monday, September 28, 2009

Girard Artistry 2006 Napa Valley

Last month I had the good fortune to be able to visit some wineries and tasting room in Napa Valley while I was in the Bay Area for my real job. While there, I picked up some great wines from wineries I knew and discovered some wonderful places that were new to me. One of the places I discovered was Girard. Although they were new to me, Girard is by no means new. They have been making wines in Napa Valley for over 35 years. Winemaker Marco DiGiulio is a UC-Davis grad who learned more on the job at places like Pine Ridge and Atlas Peak, and if the 2006 Artistry is any indication, he sure does know what he is doing.

I should also mention before I get into the wine, that Girard has a very nice tasting room right in the heart of Yountville, and if you are ever in the area I would highly recommend stopping in to see them. I hope to stop back in and see Erin and Meg in the tasting room next month when I will be back in the area. I already wrote a little bit about this wine and winery in a post recounting my visit to Yountville this summer, but I recently had occasion to open a bottle and enjoy it with my wife and tasting partner.

Consisting of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 13% Petite Verdot, 8% Malbec, and 7% Merlot with fruit sourced from Oakville, Yountville, and St. Helena, the Artistry 2006 is deep purple-red in color. The bouquet brings black cherry, cassis, and plum fruit with notes of leather and herbs. In your mouth you get a rich, full bodied mouthfeel and a fruit forward wine with black cherry, blackberry, and cassis. There is also a very subtle dark chocolate undertone and a touch of toasted walnut. The long and impressive finish is what sets this wine apart from other California Cabs and blends in the $30 to $50 price category. The finish builds like a wave that gains intensity as it slowly rolls into shore.

Overall, this is a very nice Bordeaux style blend that has more than a little complexity and some wonderful flavors. It is a very solid value at a price of about $40. I will caution that if you want to drink it now, you should definitely decant it for at least two hours. This is a wine that would also benefit from another year or two in the cellar. I know that I'm certainly going to pick up a few more bottles to test that belief.

From a pairing standpoint, I think this wine would be perfect for pot roast or a nice beef or lamb stew. Cheers!

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