Arietta Quartet 2017
The aromas coming from the glass after pouring the 2017 Quartet are delicate yet exuberant. Floral notes and red fruit aromatics are fresh and focused. Notes of red cherry, rose petal, black tea and bay laurel are among the first scents noted. The color of the wine is dark black-purple with a red note around the rim. This opaque dark hue belies the bright energy and focus of the wine. On the palate, the wine has a remarkable intensity, though it is balanced and well proportioned. Red raspberry, baked cherry, vanilla bean and crushed stones are some of the impressions as the wine hits the palate. The flavors build into an intense, long finish with polished tannins and lingering red fruit flavors.
Blend: 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 3% 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.