Arietta Variation One 2002
Incredibly deep and exotic, with sweet fruit, leather, and game beautifully knit together. The pick dates of the Merlot and Syrah were close enough for most of this wine to be co-fermented, adding an extra degree of harmony and complexity.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The stunning 2002 Variation One (70% Merlot and 30% Syrah) exhibits an exotic, opulent personality with a deep purple color, and sweet aromas of cocoa, new saddle leather, black raspberries, cassis, and acacia flowers. Full-bodied, with beautifully integrated oak (all of these wines are aged in 100% new French wood), wonderful sweetness, tremendous delineation, and laser-like clarity and transparency of character. A beauty, it is ideal for drinking over the next 10-15 years.
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.