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Arietta Hudson Vineyards Merlot 2012

ID No: 442798
Country:United States
Region:California (Napa)
Winery:Arietta Winery
Grape Type:Merlot
Vintage:2012
Bottle Size:750 ml
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Morlet Family Vineyards Mon Chevalier Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Morlet Family Vineyards Mon Chevalier Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot and the rest Malbec and Petit Verdot, .

Located on the hillsides of Knights Valley, near Calistoga, this vineyard benefits from its proximity to Mount St. Helena, whose warm and windy climate is ideal for the long ripening of the Bordeaux red varietals. Handcrafted by using classical winemaking techniques, this special wine is dedicated to our son, Paul Morlet.

Dark red with a hue of purple. Intense and complex bouquet of red, black and blue berries intermixed with notes of blueberries, minerals (graphite, wet river rocks) licorice, fresh blond tobacco and a hint of lavender. Full bodied, the palate is reminiscent of the nose, with a richly tannic yet round frame and a great intensity. The hillside tannins and the classical aromatic complexity create a harmonious ensemble, leading to a very long and elegant finish. Built to age for decades, this collectible wine opens up after a few years of cellaring and is particularly representative of this special vineyard from the hillside of Knights Valley. Mon Chevalier features the interaction of the loamy, well drained and rocky volcanic soil, the typical sunny mountain climate and the low-interventionistic Morlet winemaking approach.

Propietary Name Mon Chevalier

Name Meaning My Knight Named after our son, Paul Morlet

Varietal composition 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot 2% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot

Type of wine Vineyard designated

Appellation Knights Valley

Vineyard singularity Morlet Family Estate Hillside 1100-1200 feet elevation Rhyolitic, loam & volcanic ash

Typical harvest date End of October

Picking Manual, small lugs, refer truck

Sorting Cluster by cluster, berry per berry

Fermentation Through native yeast Tank and Puncheons

Upbringing 16 months French oak from artisan coopers

Bottling Unfiltered

Cellaring time Decades

Serving Room temperature

Decanting recommended

Review: 

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Mon Chevalier emerges from a site in Knights Valley, an area Luc Morlet knows well from his time at Peter Michael. Graphite, smoke, game, licorice, black cherry and plum - all signatures of this fabled sector of Sonoma County - come through loud and clear. Beams of supporting tannin and acidity give the wine its structural backbone. Powerful and searing in the glass, the 2012 is going to need a few years to come into its own. Dollops of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot round out the blend.

-- Antonio Galloni 93 Points

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93
Morlet Family Vineyards Billet Doux Late Harvest Semillon 2012 (half-bottle)

Morlet Family Vineyards Billet Doux Late Harvest Semillon 2012 (half-bottle) is made from Sémillon (65%) Sauvignon Blanc (31%) Muscat à Petits Grains (4%)

rowing in the gravelly soil of an ancient riverbed in the beautiful Alexander Valley, the old vines benefit from hot afternoons and cool, foggy mornings, favorable for the development of Botrytis (Noble Rot). Extremely small yields in the Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat vineyards lead to the immensely concentrated fruit. Just as one receives a note from one’s sweetheart, we present this wine as a precious ‘Love Note’ or ‘Billet Doux.’

Deep crystal clear gold. Intense and complex bouquet of dry apricot, pêche de vigne and Reine Claude yellow plum intermixed with notes of quince, honey, Muscat and a hint of sweet vanilla. Full bodied, the palate is reminiscent of the nose, with a creamy sweet texture and a great intensity. The large amount of sugar and glycerin creates a highlighted viscosity. Along with the wine’s great concentration, richness and opulence, the classical aromatic complexity reveals a flamboyant yet harmonious ensemble, leading to a very long, complex and smooth finish.


Proprietary name ‘Billet Doux’

Name meaning Love Note 

Type of wine Late harvest white wine

Appellation Alexander Valley

Vineyard singularity 25-60 year old vines Loamy and gravelly soils from an ancient river bed One cluster per shoot ‘de rigueur’

Typical harvest date November Picking Manual, small lugs, refrigerated truck

Sorting Cluster by cluster

Fermentation In barrel through native yeast

Upbringing 16 months French Oak from selected artisan Coopers

Bottling Unfined, filtered to prevent Malolactic

Cellaring time Decades

Serving Chilled and decanted

Review:

Produced from 65% Sémillon, 31% Sauvignon Blanc and 4% Muscat, the 2012 Billet Doux has a medium golden color and profoundly scented nose of beeswax, honeyed nuts, orange marmalade, Manuka honey and preserved lemons. Full-bodied, full-on sweet, rich, concentrated and oh-so-unctuous, it delivers powerful flavor layers and epic length. 175 cases were made.

-Wine Advocate 97 Points

 Wine Advocate: 97
Keermont Merlot 2016

The  Keermont Merlot is crimson to strawberry red in color. The nose opens with aromas of sweet cherries, but evolves into savory clove and forest floor notes. On the palate, the wine has a soft and subtle entry. The tannin structure is dusty and firm, but not overpowering. A fresh line of natural acidity holds the wine together from the initial flavors of red berries and herbal tomato paste through to a dry spicy finish. 

Aged 22 months in French Oak Barrels.

All grapes used in producing our wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Most of the vineyard parcels grow on deep red clay rich soil derived from sandstone and granite and are surrounded by indigenous vegetation. They lie between 250 and 400 meters above sea level in the valley between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain ranges and have a variety of aspects from North East to West facing.

Pair with red meat, pasta and pizza.

Keermont Merlot 2017

Keermont Merlot is made from 100 percent Merlot.

The Keermont Merlot is crimson to strawberry red in color. The nose opens with aromas of sweet cherries, but evolves into savory clove and forest floor notes. On the palate, the wine has a soft and subtle entry. The tannin structure is dusty and firm, but not overpowering. A fresh line of natural acidity holds the wine together from the initial flavors of red berries and herbal tomato paste through to a dry spicy finish. 

Aged 22 months in French Oak Barrels.

All grapes used in producing our wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Most of the vineyard parcels grow on deep red clay rich soil derived from sandstone and granite and are surrounded by indigenous vegetation. They lie between 250 and 400 meters above sea level in the valley between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain ranges and have a variety of aspects from North East to West facing.

Pair with red meat, pasta and pizza.

Review:

"It says Merlot on the label, but this is always a blend with other varieties - 14% Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec in the case of the 2017. Serious and intense, with appealing depth and grip, a core of bramble and raspberry fruit, a hint of oak spice and plenty of structure and concentration. 2022-29"

- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2020 Report), 92 pts


 92 Points
Keermont Merlot 2018

Keermont Merlot is made from 100 percent Merlot.

The Keermont Merlot is crimson to strawberry red in color. The nose opens with aromas of sweet cherries, but evolves into savory clove and forest floor notes. On the palate, the wine has a soft and subtle entry. The tannin structure is dusty and firm, but not overpowering. A fresh line of natural acidity holds the wine together from the initial flavors of red berries and herbal tomato paste through to a dry spicy finish. 

Aged 22 months in French Oak Barrels.

All grapes used in producing our wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Most of the vineyard parcels grow on deep red clay rich soil derived from sandstone and granite and are surrounded by indigenous vegetation. They lie between 250 and 400 meters above sea level in the valley between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain ranges and have a variety of aspects from North East to West facing.

Pair with red meat, pasta and pizza.

Review:


"The 2018 Merlot has an almost understated nose at first, opening with raspberry coulis and blueberry scents, then a touch of violet petals. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, a dash of white pepper and an almost Syrah-like finish. This is an excellent Merlot, especially considering how so many succumb to overripeness."

- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2021), 90 pts



 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 90
Keermont Red Blend 2012 (Magnum)

Keermont Red Blend 2012 is made from 37% Merlot 29% Cabernet Sauvignon and the remainder Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Malbec

Venetian red in colour, this wine exudes complex aromas of ripe cherry, wild berries, and dusty 'fynbos'. The palate has an array of ripe berries, cherry sherbet, crushed herbs and spices. Elegant but firm tannin affords the wine a long dry succulent finish. Drink 2015-2025.

Product Description

Produced from the oldest planting of grapes on Lee Hudson’s heralded vineyard in the Napa Carneros, this latest offering of Arietta Merlot is one for the ages. Certainly a classic vintage, 2012 delivered fruit with brilliant purity, structure, and a strong sense of place. This unique—one might say historic—block of Merlot shows the best that this variety has to offer in California. Well-proportioned, fresh, flavorful, dark and complex, this wine is sure to impress lovers of Pomerol, and show that California is capable of producing Merlot wines with strength, yes, but also nuance, delicacy, and multiple layers of interest. This wine should continue to open and develop over the next decade, and age gracefully for another decade or two.


Review:

Arietta's 2012 Merlot emerges from the oldest vines on Lee Hudson's vineyard in Carneros. A dark, super-expressive wine, the Merlot is endowed with serious depth, power and structure. Brambly red fruit, smoke, tobacco and grilled herbs emerge from a surprisingly big, structured wine that should drink well for many, many years. -Antonio Galloni Vinous 95 points

Winery: Arietta Winery

Arietta Winery:

Arietta, an ultra-premium Napa winery specializing in limited production Bordeaux-style blends, is owned by wine specialist and auctioneer Fritz Hatton and his wife Caren. One of America’s most celebrated winemakers, Andy Erickson, crafts the Arietta wines from carefully chosen blocks in the cooler climates of Napa Valley. The Arietta wine portfolio currently consists of four red wines—H Block Hudson, Variation One, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Quartet—and one white wine, On The White Keys.

The Hattons founded Arietta in 1996 in partnership with winemaker John Kongsgaard and his wife Maggy. The partnership was born of a shared passion for fine wine and classical music. The vinous inspiration for Arietta was an extraordinary 2.3 acre block of Cabernet Franc on the Hudson Ranch in Napa/Carneros. The fruit from this block of Cabernet Franc serves as the core of the Arietta Red Wine H Block Hudson Vineyards. The Arietta project grew with the selection of additional superb blocks of Merlot and Syrah on the Hudson Ranch, which made possible the addition of two wines to the Arietta portfolio: Arietta Red Wine Variation One, an innovative blend of Merlot and Syrah, and Arietta Merlot Hudson Vineyards, produced only in selected vintages.

Pursuing our principle of purchasing fruit only from the very finest vineyard blocks, Arietta in the 2003 vintage purchased a small quantity of Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain vineyards farmed by famed Napa grower David Abreu. This fruit afforded us the opportunity to release a small quantity of Arietta Cabernet Sauvignon in the 2003 through 2005 vintages, as well as the Arietta Claret 2004 and 2005. In 2006 Arietta leased a fabulously situated 1.6 acre block of clone 337 Cabernet Sauvignon in Coombsville, which became the new core of the Arietta Cabernet. The same year saw the introduction of Arietta Quartet, a blend four Bordeaux varietals. Since 2009 the core of the quartet has been a jewel of a three acre vineyard in Coombsville, painstakingly laid out and planted by famed viticulturist David Abreu in 2003.

Erickson crafted Arietta’s first ever white wine, Arietta “On The White Keys” 2005, from very rare hillside blocks of Sauvignon Blanc on Sonoma Mountain and two tiny old vine Semillon blocks in the Hyde Vineyards in Napa Carneros. Barrel fermented and aged for eight months in a combination of stainless steel, new oak, and French oak barrels, the Arietta White Keys, with its distinctive combination of vibrant flavors and a grand finish, was an instant success upon release in the fall of 2006.

Arietta's label features the manuscript of Beethoven's Arietta movement from his last Piano Sonata, Opus 111, written long after the composer had lost his hearing. Opus 111 is one of the most transporting and revolutionary pieces of music ever composed. Serene yet complex, rich yet ethereal, Beethoven’s Arietta provides an inspirational model for great winemaking.

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