Arietta Variation One 2016
Arietta Red Wine Variation One is a rare and innovative blend of Merlot and Syrah from the Hudson Vineyards on the Napa side of Carneros. The blending of “wild” Syrah with “civilized” Merlot creates a complex and layered wine with a unique aromatic profile.
Coming on the heels of a prolonged multi-year drought, the 2016 growing season was defined by near-ideal conditions. Rain in March and early April allowed the vines to start the spring with ample moisture in the soil, made for healthy canopies and balanced vines. A dry, mild summer, with only one short heat event, helped the fruit ripen with deep color, intense aromatics, and ample natural acidity. Some growers are commenting that the quality of the wines is perhaps on par with the much-heralded 2013 vintage.
Notes from winemaker Andy Erickson: “The power and richness of the 2016 vintage is on display in the Arietta Red Wine “Variation One,” a blend of roughly 60% Syrah and 40% Merlot from Hudson Vineyards. Both of these varieties thrive in the cooler Carneros appellation of Napa Valley, and on Hudson’s clay loam soils, making this untraditional blend a novel twist on the concept of a terroir-driven wine. The opaque, densely packed, earth-driven character of the Syrah is tamed by the bright, juicy, rich, fruit-driven flavors of the Merlot. The aromatics are endlessly complex, as notes of flint, smoke, and gravel weave together with aromas of fresh blueberries, blackberry pie, black cherry and chocolate. The palate is weighty, full-bodied, but balanced, with dark fruits, herbs and minerals serving up a multi-layered crescendo on the finish. Not surprisingly, this wine will easily age for more than two decades, but don’t wait that long.”
Blend: 61% Syrah, 39% Merlot
Fruit Source: 100% Hudson Vineyard, Carneros
Élevage: Aged 22 months in French oak, 55% new
Production: 109 cases
Price: $100/750 ml bottle