Arietta Merlot 1999 Front Label
Arietta Merlot 1999 Front Label

Arietta Merlot 1999

  • RP92
  • WS92
750ML / 0% ABV
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A dense, rich wine of great power, with firm tannic support, still on the young side. The size of the Arietta Merlot crop in 1999 (1000 cases of this wine were produced) allowed them to broaden distribution to top restaurants in the U.S. As a result the experience of drinking Arietta Merlot 1999 has generated more calls from enthusiasts wishing to become Arietta subscribers than any other wine. Drink with prior aeration or decantation, but you can anticipate a long life ahead.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1999 Merlot (which includes 10% Syrah) exhibits a Pomerol-like character. It represents a synthesis in style between the elegance and complexity of a French wine, and the power and ripe fruit of a top-flight California offering. An opaque purple color is followed by aromas of cola, chocolate, and macerated jammy black cherries. This super-concentrated, high strung, packed effort appears to be as tight as a coiled spring. There is great fruit on the attack as well as an imposing structure, but it feels like that is all being held in check at present. Despite the big, intense flavors, the wine is elegant and light on its feet. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2020.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Classy. Dark, rich and full-bodied, with excellent structure, firm tannins and a solid core of earthy currant, herb, cedar, pencil lead and mineral flavors that are deep, complex and full-blown. Remarkable detail and finesse. Firmly tannic, it's a good candidate for cellaring.
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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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As Napa Valley’s third most planted grape, Napa Valley Merlot shows time and time again its potential to produce exceptional results. Napa’s vaunted combination of climate, soil and the human factor of winemaking expertise lead to big, ripe, cellar-worthy and world-class versions.

Whether made by itself in single varietal bottlings or as an important role in Bordeaux Blends, Merlot continues a prominent role in this famous region. While Cabernet typically takes the lead role, Merlot’s contribution—even at 10% to 20% or so—is significant indeed. Often described as “the flesh on Cabernet’s bones,” Merlot lends a soft, round and plush character that beautifully complements Cabernet’s linear, full-throttle structure. Its flavors of plums plus subtle herbs and mint also dovetail nicely with Cabernet’s blackberry and cassis.

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LSB200348_1999 Item# 200348

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