Arietta Variation One 2014 Front Label
Arietta Variation One 2014 Front LabelArietta Variation One 2014 Front Bottle Shot

Arietta Variation One 2014

  • RP94
  • V94
750ML / 14.9% ABV
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750ML / 14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The caramel, smoked meat, and orange peel notes of the Syrah immediately float up as the wine is poured. The generous nature of the wine carries through to the palate, as flavors of blueberry and dark chocolate, surely coming from the Merlot, rush forward. The tannins are already round and polished in this wine, and the marriage of the dark, brooding nature of the Syrah, with the bright, electric blue Merlot fruit will only gain in excitement over the years. This will absolutely be a wine to follow as it continues to evolve in bottle over the next two decades or more.”

Blend: 50% Merlot, 50% Syrah

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Proprietary Red Variation One is an equal-part blend of Syrah and Merlot. Influence of the mystic and great winemaker/producer John Kongsgaard can be seen in this beauty, which has a dense purple color, a big blast of blue and black fruits, excellent acidity and freshness, with hints of meat, chocolate and spice. This full-bodied, youthful and unevolved, full-throttle red wine is individualistic, singular and should age well for 15 or more years. This is a winner and creative as well. Drink it over the next 20+ years.
V 94
The 2014 Red Wine Variation One is all finesse. Today the flavors are naturally bright and primary, with notable intensity throughout, while the tannins are silky and polished. Even so, the 2014 needs time to be at its best. Like so many 2014s, the Variation One appears to have clamped down after bottling.
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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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Napa Valley

Red Wine

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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.

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PRG000959_14_2014 Item# 388317

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