Prior Release 2008

Arietta Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

A classically balanced expression of Napa Valley, the 2008 Arietta Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits the hallmark characteristics of this variety from the southern end of the Valley: aromas of graphite, sage, and cassis, and flavors of rich currant imbued with a subtle minerality, all housed in a structured and ageworthy frame. Arietta’s extraordinary two acre block of Cabernet Sauvignon, located in the cooler climes of Coombsville, is the core of this blend. Planted on volcanic soils, the Arietta Block produces wine with deep, dark color, strong tannins, and varietal purity. A substantial dollop of Cabernet Franc from the Hudson Vineyard in Carneros and a hint of Petit Verdot add high notes and bass tones to the Arietta Cabernet Sauvignon. In the 2008 vintage a dry spring, naturally low yields, and a long growing season helped produce a wine of great depth and concentration. Under winemaker Andy Erickson’s watchful eye, careful sorting, native yeast fermentation, a long, controlled maceration, minimal racking, and avoidance of fining and filtration enhanced the intensity, length, and “bloom” of the wine. The 2008 Arietta Cabernet Sauvignon will benefit from five or more years of cellaring, with the ideal window for drinking from about eight to fifteen years after the vintage. (270 cases)

Arietta Quartet 2008

The principal Bordeaux varieties combine in four-part harmony to produce the Arietta Quartet 2008. This third vintage of Arietta Quartet, a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot, is selected from top lots sourced from Arietta’s ten blocks of Bordeaux varietals located in the cooler climates of Napa Valley. Forward, lifted aromas of blueberry, raspberry, flint and baking spice are immediately apparent in the glass. Displaying polished tannins, the Arietta Quartet 2008 is soft on entry, with the fruit flavors building on the palate to a long, rich finish. The Arietta Quartet 2008 will be enjoyable upon release, but should age and improve in bottle for several years and drink well for ten. (500 cases)

Arietta Red Wine H Block Hudson Vineyards 2008

The Arietta Red Wine H Block Hudson Vineyards 2008 is the first ever release of a 100% varietal Cabernet Franc made from the H Block on Lee Hudson’s Ranch on the Napa side of Carneros. The fabulous quality of the 2.3 acre H Block has been well recognized since it reached full production in 1990, and incredibly enough, this is the first time that its Cabernet Franc has ever been released unblended. For the Arietta Red Wine H Block Hudson Vineyards we normally prefer the additional layering and complexity provided by the addition of Merlot, but this time through all blending trials the “pure H” stood out as the most complete, complex, and well balanced wine. Welcome to the long overdue debut of the “pure H”! Its moment on stage will be brief; the Arietta H Block will return to its traditional Saint-Emilion style blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot in the 2009 vintage. Winemaker Andy Erickson comments: “the later-ripening Cabernet Franc benefited from a mild, relatively warm autumn, allowing the fruit to mature well into October. The resulting Cabernet Franc wine is incredibly pure, deep, and complex, with notes of roasted coffee, lavender, pencil lead, and ripe fruits. The wine’s depth, balance, and seductive texture are most impressive.” (230 cases)

Arietta Red Wine Variation One 2008

The Arietta Red Wine Variation One 2008 is the ninth vintage for our innovative blend of Syrah and Merlot grown on the Hudson Ranch in Carneros. Like a unique and treasured color in an artist’s palette, Arietta Red Wine Variation One excites chefs and wine buffs who prize its distinctive flavor profile. The blend of the Arietta Red Wine Variation One 2008 is similar to recent years – 55% Syrah and 45% Merlot. Winemaker Andy Erickson notes: “The deep, dark, brooding character of the Syrah makes the first impression. Aromas of roasted meat, black cherries, and menthol follow through to the palate. The tannins are mouth-filling and chewy, while the intense fruit character helps to round out the wine and add length. The later ripening of the Syrah in 2008 did not allow us to co-ferment with the Merlot, production of which was dramatically reduced by spring frosts and rain during bloom. However the small quantity of Merlot produced was dense, juicy, and fruit forward, and blends perfectly with the powerful, dark, mocha elements of the Syrah.” (300 cases)

Arietta White Wine On The White Keys 2008

The 2008 Arietta White Wine “On The White Keys” is our labor of love. Managing the barrel fermentation of one to three barrels each of up to a dozen different lots requires patience, especially in a vintage like 2008, which took on average six months to ferment. The slow gestation produced a wine generous in volume and with mouth-coating flavors, similar to the White Keys’ inaugural vintage (2005), even with a relatively low percentage of our old-vine Semillon (13%) added to the hillside Sauvignon Blanc. The blend is classically White Bordeaux, but the vineyard sources, barrel fermentation, and earlier bottling to preserve freshness give Arietta On The White Keys a flavor profile “sui generis.” The White Keys has the power and complexity to match a wide range of foods, including cooked fish and vegetable dishes, and artisanal cheeses. We make 350 cases of “White Keys.”