Arietta Hudson Vineyards Merlot 2016  Front Label
Arietta Hudson Vineyards Merlot 2016  Front LabelArietta Hudson Vineyards Merlot 2016  Front Bottle Shot

Arietta Hudson Vineyards Merlot 2016

  • WE94
  • RP93
750ML / 14.9% ABV
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  • WW92
  • V94
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750ML / 14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2016 Arietta Merlot, as is true with most vintages, is 100% Merlot. The grapes come from the oldest vines planted on Hudson Vineyards, from a block Lee Hudson has referred to as the "Merlot Cathedral." The vines indeed are statuesque, deeply rooted, and able to ripen the fruit gradually and fully. The wine from 2016 showcases the strength of this great terroir, presenting the full spectrum of Merlot character. Notes of blue and black fruits dance with aromas of baking spices, cocoa, pot de crème and graphite. On the palate the combination of fresh acidity and rounded but structured tannins is palpable. This wine is a reminder of just how impressive Merlot can be when grown on the right soils, in the cooler climes of the Napa Valley. It will be pure pleasure to taste this wine over the years as it develops in the bottle.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
From the great vineyard site in Carneros, this 100% varietal wine from the site's oldest vines is earthy, rugged and generous in flavor, oak and heat, with a persistence of structure and tannin. It unfurls itself slowly to show succulent cassis, nutmeg, graphite and blueberry compote, layers of complexity that lead to a soft, graceful finish.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep purple-black in color, the 2016 Merlot has a captivating nose of crushed red and black plums, Black Forest cake and underbrush with hints of spice cake and dried mint. Full-bodied, plushly textured and packed with warm black fruits and baking spices in the mouth, it has a long peppery finish.
Rating: 93+
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Arietta

Arietta

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Arietta, California
Arietta Proprieters Caren and Fritz Hatton Winery Image
The Arietta project is owned and run by the Kongsgaard and Hatton families. John Kongsgaard, winemaker, is a fifth generation Napan, but the first in his family to make wine. Kongsgaard has grown grapes since 1975 and made wine professionally since 1979, notably for thirteen vintages at Newton and five at Luna, as well as looking after numerous clients as a viticultural and enological consultant. Since founding Arietta and Kongsgaard in 1996, he has limited wine production to that which he can make with his own hands. In 2000, Kongsgaard stopped all consulting activities, devoting himself solely to twenty-eight acres of vineyard and the resulting Arietta and Kongsgaard wines.

Fritz Hatton is the nation's foremost wine auctioneer. He worked for Christie's for most of the last two decades and was in charge of Christie's U.S. wine auctions from 1995 to 1998. In the spring of 2002, Hatton joined the prominent retailer, Zachy's, as auctioneer and consultant to Zachy's Auctions, Inc. He serves as principal auctioneer for the Napa Valley Wine Auction and conducts numerous other charity wine auctions across the U.S. Hatton is responsible for the sales and distribution of the Arietta and Kongsgaard wines and shares the marketing duties with Kongsgaard.

The partners came together through their love of music. Fritz is a serious amateur pianist and singer, and the Kongsgaards present a ten concert classical music series in Napa. Their friendship in music is reflected in the Arietta wine label: Beethoven's manuscript of the sublime Arietta movement of his last piano sonata, Opus 111.

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Carneros Wine

California

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Known for elegant wines that combine power and finesse, Carneros is set in the rolling hills that straddle the southernmost parts of both Sonoma and Napa counties. The cooling winds from the abutting San Pablo Bay, combined with lots of midday California sunshine, create an ideal environment for producing wines with a perfect balance of crisp acidity and well-ripened fruit.

This cooler pocket of California lends itself to growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Carneros is an important source of sparkling wines made in the style of Champagne as well.

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With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

SPRARMERLT16C_2016 Item# 556035

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