Arietta H Block Hudson Vineyards 2018
Crafted from Cabernet Franc vines planted on a volcanic outcropping in 1986, and adjacent Merlot planted in the same year in clay-loam, the “H Block” has always been regarded as Arietta’s signature wine, paying great respect to the wines we love from the Right Bank of Bordeaux. The 2018 vintage is 56% Cabernet Franc and 44% Merlot, and would certainly stand with the best of the twenty-one previous vintages. Effusively aromatic, the wine is packed with notes of red raspberry, nutmeg, cumin, licorice, and slow-toasted oak. It is both energetic and rich, with the ripe fruit flavors flowing across the palate and pulling the complex spice notes with it. Aged for twenty months in 100% new French oak barrels and bottled without fining or filtration, the wine is deep and delicious, with the structure and weight that will allow it to age for decades.
Sometimes the most normal, drama-free vintages produce the most compelling wines. Such is the case with 2018, which from the beginning was a fairly textbook growing season. Vineyards thrived, with the adequate soil moisture, consistent sunshine, and a late summer which stretched well into September. Yields were generous, but given the nearly ideal season, so were the resulting wines. From harvest, through fermentation, and as the wines were going to barrel, it was clear we were witness to something special. Our periodic tastings of the wines from barrel were pure pleasure, and blending the final wines was more hedonistic than it was academic. The wines we produced from Hudson Vineyards showed the best that can come from this special place.
Blend: 56% Cabernet Franc, 44% Merlot, co-fermented
Fruit Sources: 100% Hudson Vineyard, Carneros
Age of Vines: 32 years
Elevage: Aged 22 months in French oak barrels, 87% new
Production: 379 cases