Ten years after its creation in the 2000 vintage, Arietta Red Wine Variation One continues to refresh the mind and the palate with its boldness and distinctive aromas and flavors. Its virtually unique blend of Syrah and Merlot, all grown on the Hudson Ranch in Carneros, marries two very different varietals with the aim of capturing the best of both the “civil” nature of the Merlot tames the natural “wildness” of the Syrah by rounding its edges, cushioning and broadening the middle palate, and lengthening the finish.
The 2010 Arietta Variation One stands out from its immediate predecessors in two respects: the Syrah rises from half to two-thirds of the blend, while the percentage of new oak drops from 80% to 41%. The result is a more transparent and approachable wine, with forward aromas of dried wild berries, pomegranate, candied orange peel, and hints of spice cake and campfire. The style of the Variation 2010 is reminiscent of the best traditional wines of the Northern Rhone, with food friendly acidity and the gorgeous ripe flavors of a fruit market in September. Without a doubt Arietta Variation One is the most dramatic wine in the Arietta portfolio. It is a perfect foil to lamb, game, grilled and fatty meats in general, and, dare we say it, bacon?
Blend: 67% Syrah. 33% Merlot
Fruit Sources: 100% Hudson Vineyard, Carneros
Cooperage: Aged 22 months in French oak, 41% new
Production: 350 cases
Price: $125/750 ml bottle