Arietta “One Eleven” Artists’ Reserve Merlot 2016

Arietta “One Eleven” Artists’ Reserve Merlot 2016 bottle shot
Arietta “One Eleven” Artists’ Reserve Merlot 2016

The supreme quality of Lee Hudson’s I Block Merlot inspired thinking about an Arietta Reserve Merlot several years ago.  While small by industry norms (we lease five of its seven acres), the Hudson I Block is in fact the largest of Arietta’s thirteen vineyard blocks, which makes it a candidate for differentiation.  The fabulous quality of the 2016 vintage convinced us to proceed.   We selected the finest three new French oak barrels of Hudson I Block Merlot, and set them aside for an extra five months of aging.  The result, the Arietta “One Eleven” Artists’ Reserve Merlot 2016, is a powerful wine which should age well for decades.   We named the Artists’ Reserve Merlot “One Eleven,” the opus number of Beethoven’s last piano sonata, which ends with the celebrated Arietta.

Notes from winemaker Andy Erickson:

Taking advantage of the strength and richness of the 2016 harvest, we decided for the first time to create a “Reserve” level of Merlot from Hudson Vineyards.  We selected only three of our favorite barrels from the vintage, those coming from the part of “I Block” showing the highest level of depth and concentration.   Blending these together, and allowing them to age for an additional five months before bottling, made for an exceptionally deep, aromatic, and polished wine.  The level of complexity of this singular wine begins immediately when it hits the glass.  Aromas of ripe black fruits, dark chocolate, baking spices, and dried flowers literally fill the room.  On the palate, it is incredibly expansive and generous, with burnished tannins and a plush, lengthy finish.  We feel that this bottling takes Merlot to new heights, and we can’t wait to see how it develops with years in the bottle.”

Blend: 100% Merlot
Fruit Sources: 100% Hudson Vineyard, Carneros
Elevage: Aged 25 months in French oak barrels, 100% new
Production: 71 cases
Price: $110/ 750ml bottle