Arietta Merlot Hudson Vineyards 2018
Produced entirely from fruit from the long-lived “I Block” on the Hudson ranch, the 2018 Arietta Merlot mirrors the character of the old vines that hold the fruit: muscular, deep, and at the same time balanced. This variety thrives in these soils, and in the cooler climes of Carneros, where Hudson is located. Fermented with native yeasts, macerated on the skins for nearly 30 days at relatively low temperature, the wine is alive with notes of black cherry, boysenberry, flint, and clove. Bottled unfiltered after aging in 50% new French oak, its tannins have a cocoa powder texture, and the intensity of the fruit lingers on the finish for nearly a minute. This wine is a house favorite nearly every vintage, and the 2018 is no exception.
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: 100% Merlot
Fruit Sources: 100% Hudson Vineyard, Carneros
Vine Age: 32 Years
Elevage: Aged 22 months in French oak barrels, 40% new
Production: 288 cases