Arietta “On the White Keys” 2015
The Arietta White Keys 2015 features its own union of opposites: the lip smacking brilliance of cool climate hillside Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma Mountain and the delicate flowers and honey of old vine Semillon from Carneros. We continue to be amazed by the ability of the White Keys to complement and enhance a wide array of foods, from cheese to chorizo to chilies to chicken.
Blend: 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Semillon
Fruit sources: 25% Napa/Carneros, 75% Sonoma Mountain
Cooperage: Barrel fermented and aged for nine months in 35% new French Oak, 45% second use French Oak, and 25% stainless steel
Production: 462 cases
On The White Keys, “Artists’ Reserve” 2015
The Arietta White Wine On The White Keys Artists’ Reserve 2015 hews to our model of grand cru white Bordeaux in its classic 80/20 proportion of Sauvignon Blanc to Semillon, extended aging in barrel (22 months compared to the White Keys’ 10 months), and greater oak polish. Arietta’s hillside blocks on Sonoma Mountain provide brilliantly intense Sauvignon Blanc, and famed Napa/Carneros grower Larry Hyde nurtures and preserves for us his oldest block of Semillon—three quarters of an acre—which broadens the texture and adds sophistication to our White Keys wines. Arietta winemaker Andy Erickson notes: This very special bottling starts with our selection of the most promising barrels from the vintage, both of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The wine retains the freshness and acidity apparent in the fruit at harvest, but with this extended aging comes a rounding and lengthening on the palate, as well as added layers of complexity, and a savory tone that pairs incredibly well with rich culinary dishes. Aromas of baked peaches, wet stones, and vanilla bean meld together with citrus notes and bright floral tones. The wine has a firm structure and mouth-watering acidity, but broadens on the palate to notes of lemon curd, salted caramel, and notes of black truffle. This is a serious wine for lovers of white Bordeaux and other wines that can stand the test of time in the cellar.
Blend: 80% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Semillon
Fruit Sources: Hyde Vineyard, Rancho Chimiles
Elevage: Barrel fermented and aged 22 months in 76% new French Oak barrels, 24% stainless steel
Production: 107 cases
Arietta Red Wine Quartet 2015
Arietta Red Wine “Quartet” is a blend of four of the leading Bordeaux varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. In most vintages the dominant varietal in the Quartet is Cabernet Sauvignon. We source grapes from our carefully chosen vineyard sites in three of Napa Valley’s AVAs: Coombsville, Carneros, and Calistoga. We age Quartet for twenty months in French oak barrels of which 30-50% are new–enough to support development in bottle for a decade, but with sufficient restraint to allow the wine to bloom fully soon after release.
Notes by winemaker Andy Erickson: “Arietta’s vines proved their resilience in 2015, working their way through the driest growing season on record in California. In the end, the vines found the resources necessary to ripen a balanced but fairly limited crop. The grapes at harvest were intensely perfumed, with small berries and ample acidity. Arietta Quartet 2015 is a reflection of the stalwart nature of Arietta’s carefully selected vineyard blocks in Coombsville, Carneros, and Calistoga: overtly aromatic, richly textured, and packed with generous black fruit flavors. There is a sublime combination of silkiness, generosity, and density in the wine, and it will certainly continue to reveal more layers over the course of 10 to 15 years in bottle.”
Blend: 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot
Fruit Sources: 46% Coombsville, 30% Carneros, 24% Calistoga
Elevage: 22 months in French oak barrels, 52% new
Production: 817 cases
Arietta Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
The Arietta Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 spent nearly a month on the skins, during a careful extended maceration. This added to the fruit intensity and mid-palate texture of the wine. Even at this early stage, it is showing a rich, extracted, but soft mouthfeel, and a very long finish. Like the other Arietta red wines from this vintage, this one will age for a very long time.
Notes from Winemaker Andy Erickson: “This latest vintage for Arietta is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. As with all Arietta wines, the grapes hail from the coolest areas of the Napa Valley, the Cabernet Sauvignon coming from Meteor Vineyards in Coombsville, in the southeastern corner of Napa Valley. This gives the wine a savory quality, with notes of gravel and fresh-cut wood dancing on top of a rich core of black fruits, including fresh blackberry, baked plum, and cassis. The dry conditions of the 2015 growing season only helped to concentrate and accentuate the expressive nature of the wine.”
Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Fruit Sources: 100% Coombsville
Age of Vines: 10-18 years
Elevage: Aged 22 months in French oak barrels, 49% new
Production: 142 cases
Arietta Merlot Hudson Vineyards 2015
This youthful offering of 93% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc from Hudson Vineyards is deep, dark, and at the same time bright and aromatic. From the glass, we find notes of red cherry, slate, flint, and caramel. On the palate, the wine is compact, clean and well defined, the red fruit character giving way to notes of nutmeg and burning embers. With time in the glass, and certainly with bottle age, the wine will open up and become more complex, broad, and expressive.
Notes from Winemaker Andy Erickson: “The Arietta Merlot Hudson Vineyards 2015 is a testament to the power of site. The vines, planted more than 30 years ago by Lee Hudson on his now-storied property in Carneros, are firmly established, mature, and able to withstand even the most challenging conditions as the drought of 2015. The clay-rich soils allowed the vines to extract what water was available to them throughout the growing season. The cool temperatures in that southern-most part of the valley, near the San Pablo Bay, allow the grapes to spend ample time on the vine, reaching full physiological ripeness.”
Blend: 93% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc
Fruit Sources: 100% Hudson Vineyard, Carneros
Elevage: Aged 22 months in French oak barrels, 69% new
Production: 206 cases
Arietta Red Wine H Block Hudson Vineyards 2015
A co-fermented blend of 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Merlot from Hudson Vineyards, the Arietta Red Wine H Block Hudson Vineyards 2015 is poised to stand with some of the best vintages produced in the last 20 years. The wine offers all that is special about Cabernet Franc grown in the perfect setting—black-purple color, a broad-shouldered stature, and a plush, velvety texture, along with notes of black currant, raspberry, blueberry, clove, and dried flowers. On the palate, more layers are revealed, including hints of fresh blueberry, pencil lead, and dried sage. The 2015 Arietta H Block Hudson Vineyards is incredibly focused and well-proportioned, and if anything is somewhat shy at present. This signals a long life ahead in bottle, with more nuance and suppleness being unveiled at each successive tasting. It should age easily for 20+ years.
Blend: 75% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot, co-fermented
Fruit Sources: 100% Hudson Vineyard, Carneros
Age of Vines: 28 years
Elevage: Aged 22 months in French oak barrels, 53% new
Production: 283 cases