Prior Release 2003

Arietta Red Wine H Block Hudson Vineyards 2003. This wine demonstrates well the qualities that make the Arietta wines so distinctive: layering of flavors (complexity) and vibrancy (refreshing and well-integrated acidity). Noted wine critic Stephen Tanzer highlighted these qualities in his review of the Arietta Red Wine H Block Hudson 2003: “A 60/40 blend of cabernet franc and merlot. Ruby-red. Cool but ripe aromas of blackberry, blueberry, cassis and licorice. Wonderfully thick and dense but with superb life in the mouth. Compelling flavors of black fruits, with inner-palate floral lift. This is even lusher than the 2002. John Kongsgaard has figured out how to do something that too few California winemakers can do: make extraordinarily rich, layered wines that maintain vibrancy. A great showing today. 94-96 points.” (450 cases)

Arietta Red Wine Variation One 2003. Arietta’s source of Syrah in the Hudson Vineyards moved to a particularly desirable portion of Block 4 on the Hudson Henry Road Ranch. This block sits on an ancient creek bed, and is heavily riddled with cobblestones which limit vigor and accelerate drainage. The resulting fruit infuses Arietta Variation One with more intensity, opulence, and sheer juiciness than ever. Stephen Tanzer notes: “A 60/40 blend of merlot and syrah, co-fermented. Good saturated ruby-red. Nose offers a compelling combination of syrah and merlot perfume: black raspberry, minerals, licorice, flowers. Dense and thick, but with terrific flavor definition and lift and captivating notes of flowers and graphite. A powerfully structured wine that finishes with explosive fruits and minerals and great persistence.. One of those rare 1+1=3 wines, where the whole is more than the sum of the parts. Obviously, the blend works. 93-95 points.” (450 cases)

Arietta Cabernet Sauvignon 2003. For Arietta’s first ever Cabernet Sauvignon winemaker John Kongsgaard selected a small quantity of meticulously farmed Cabernet Sauvignon from spectacular vineyards on Howell Mountain farmed by one of Napa’s most talented vineyard managers, David Abreu. Tanzer notes: “Good bright ruby. Knockout nose combines black cherry, blackberry, licorice and bitter chocolate. Wonderfully sweet and concentrated, with snappy fruit flavors and perfectly integrated acidity. Finishes with broad, dusty tannins. Will make a worthy new entry to the Arietta line-up. 92-94 points.” (250 cases)