Arietta Variation One Napa Valley is a blend of Merlot and Syrah, also from the Hudson Vineyards. The N Block is the only vineyard in Kongsgaard's extensive experience with Merlot which naturally yields two and one half to three tons of fruit per acre without requiring thinning or hedging. This naturally balanced vineyard is a unique phenomenon; a gift from nature which is reflected in the harmonious quality of the wine. Syrah, from Hudson's Hermitage selection grown in gravel unusual in the Carneros, is co-fermented with the Merlot to give the blend a wild and penetrating quality. If the H Block wine is an homage to the Right Bank of Bordeaux, Variation I is a Napa Valley original. The plum and licorice aromas of Merlot blend imperceptibly with the forest floor, wild game qualities attributable to the Syrah in a wine without antecedent anywhere in the world. The vinification, barrel ageing, and bottling are similar to the Arietta H Block wine. Variation I may be served young, especially with wilder dishes, but the powerful, if supple, tannin will support its evolution in bottle for at least 10 years.