Arietta Quartet 2016
#48 Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Wines of 2019
Arietta Quartet is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot from carefully chosen vineyard blocks in the Napa Valley. Aged for 20 months in French oak barrels (61% new), Arietta Quartet is approachable upon release, but rich enough to age well for ten years or more. The label features a drawing of the instruments of the string quartet by eight-year-old Libby Hatton, a future proprietor of Arietta, over a manuscript fragment of the famous Cavatina movement from Beethoven's String Quartet Opus 130.
The Arietta Red Wine Quartet 2016 benefits from two new vineyard sources at the southern end of Napa Valley, both providing Cabernet Sauvignon, and both managed by the superb viticulturist, Mike Wolf. This change makes more attainable our continuing quest for the most exquisite balance of ripeness and freshness in the Arietta wines.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Winemaker Andy Erickson coaxes beautiful fruit and structure from this blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, many of the grapes from Coombsville and Carneros. Juicy and weighty on the palate in blackberry and blueberry, it offers firm integrated tannin and undeniable elegance, with lovely teases of dried herb, graphite and exotic spice. Editors’ Choice.
The 2016 Quartet is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Deep purple-black in color, it features youthful, vivacious black and red currants notions with an undercurrent of black plums, mulberries, Indian spices and fragrant earth plus wafts of tobacco and new leather. Full-bodied and laden with decadent black fruit and spicy layers, it has a velvety backbone and long spicy finish.
The second wine of the estate, the 2016 Red Wine Quartet is based on 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot. There are 1,100 cases and it has terrific chocolaty dark fruits, truffle, olive, and meaty aromatics, medium to full body, a rounded, supple texture, and a great finish. It has a classic Cabernet green edge, with an almost Bordeaux vibe.
Strong blue-fruit aromas with cassis and blueberries taking center stage, ahead of gently tarry, coal-smoke aromas. The palate has gently chewy tannins and an array of ripe-plum and raisin flavors. A blend of 58 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 30 per cent merlot, 11 per cent cabernet franc and one per cent petit verdot.
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.
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.