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Arietta Hudson Vineyards Merlot 2012

ID No: 442798
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 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 95
Country:United States
Region:California (Napa)
Grape Type:Merlot
Winery:Arietta Winery
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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Deep red with a slight purple hue on release. The wine has a rich mix of dark chocolate infused with coffee bean and black liquorice, then scents of tar, aniseed, raw (pure) soy and black olive on the nose. The palate is expansive, and yet balanced and finessed. An amalgam of dark berried flavors and textural sensations. The 100% new oak is completely absorbed, meshed with ripe tannins, completing a palate of impressive length and youthfulness.

Parcels of fruit for this wine were identified in the vineyard by the winemakers. Daily fruit inspection led to the fruit being harvested at optimum flavor ripeness. The fruit was harvested at night and quickly transported to the winery. The fruit was destemmed to 6T open fermenters for fermentation. A Shiraz specific yeast was selected to ferment the wine and fermentation was carried out at a maximum of 28°C. The fermenter was manually pumped over twice daily in the first half of fermentation to give the winemakers control of color, flavor and tannin extraction. Pump over regimes were adjusted toward the end of fermentation to suit the tannin and flavor extraction of the wine. The cap was completely broken up on each pump over. The wine remained in fermenters for 6-8 days (dependent on parcel) before being pressed, inoculated with malolactic bacteria and filled to American oak (100% new barrels). The wine was racked post malolactic fermentation and returned to the same barrels. The wine was topped every month and after six months racked and returned to the same barrels again. Prior to bottling the parcels were emptied from oak and blended. Minimal fining and filtration was carried out prior to bottling.

 


Review:

Thorn Clarke has taken its Shiraz to a new level with this single-vineyard wine, bottled only in exceptional vintages. The 100% new American oak gives this a classic Barossa profile, starting with vanilla, cedar and maple syrup-like notes and flowing seamlessly through ripe blackberry and plum flavors. It's full bodied, lush and creamy in texture, with a long, velvety finish. Drink now–2025, possibly beyond. - Wine Entusiast 96 Points

 

2012 Vintage:

Voted Best Shiraz in the World at London's International Wine & Spirit Competition 

 

  

Voted Best Shiraz in the World at London's International Wine & Spirit Competition 

 Wine Enthusiast: 96
The Bryson Barrel Select Red 2010

Philosophy

Our limited release wine is created from the fusion of two exceptional parcels of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. This classic blend is matured in the finest oak crafting an intriguing unison that captures the essence of our vineyard and highlights its unique varietal expression.

Our Vineyards

“Our family vineyard is located in the picturesque and historic Padthaway valley, 300 km south of Adelaide. Our rich, fertile terra rosa soils, environmentally friendly viticulture, low yield and exceptional fruit is how we consistently produce outstanding wines. Small parcels of the highest quality fruit are selected from our family vineyard and handcrafted to create wines with amazing depth of flavour, style and balance…” David Bryson

Winemaking Notes

Made with the greatest dedication and care, select parcels were matured in new and seasoned French and American oak for up to 20 months prior to being selected for this blend. Individual barrels from our family estate that best demonstrate the intensity of our fruit, balanced by integrated oak were selected for the final blend, which was then bottled with minimal filtration.

Vintage Overview

It started out full bore with the usual warm February weather. All our grape varieties started to ripen at the same time making it one of our most compact vintages to date. Vine-balance was carefully monitored, resulting in fruit that demonstrate the vibrancy and fruit-derived characters that we strive for in our wines.

Tasting Notes

Deep inky purple in colour. Aromas of blackberry, mocha, mint and spices. Lush, ripe palate dominated by black fruits, cherry and chocolate. An expansive palate with black fruits and nicely balanced by oak.

Production Statistics:

Bottling Date: 13.12.2011

Sizes: 750ml

Region (GI): 100% Padthaway

Varietal composition: 60% Shiraz, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon

Alcohol: 14.5 alc/Vol

Total Acidity: 6.8 g/L

ALLERGENS: Minimal Sulphur Dioxide added.

Naturally clarified with egg white, traces may remain.


Review:

Bright ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of ripe mulberries and black berries, leather and clay, baked oak, and tellicherry peppers with an lively, dry full body and an interesting, short finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak. An excellent example. - 93 Points Gold Metal Exceptional Beverage Tasting Institue. 

 

A 60/40% blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. New oak rules the roost, but there are ample black fruits to provide balance. By far the best Morambro Creek wine to date. Drink to: 2030 -95 Points James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2015.
 
Top 100 - Sydney International Wine Competition 2013.
Blue Gold - Sydney International Wine Competition 2013.
 95 Points
Ayni Malbec Mendoza 2015

 Color: Deep ruby red with violet hints
 Nose: Complex and intense, features black berries, cherries and plum, with delicate floral notes and spices.
 Mouth: Balanced and fresh, full bodied with good length of spices.

Pairs well with grilled meats and stews

Review:

"One of two Ayni Malbec releases in 2015, this is made in a fruitier, more approachable style with understated oak. Balanced, floral and elegant, it’s sappy and appealing, with notes of liquorice and black plums and a long, tangy finish. 2018-23"

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 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92 95 Points
Ferren Chardonnay Silver Eagle Vineyard 2014

Silver Eagle Vineyard rests atop Stoetz Ridge, the land mass that divides the remote Sonoma Coast from the Russian River Valley. This vineyard experiences both the cooling ocean breezes of the nearby Pacific, as well as the warmth of the interior valley. The Chardonnay made from this unique confluence of climates is extraordinary; a fascinating juxtaposition of briny minerality and candied citrus.

Average age of the vines is 10 years.

100% native fermentation (primary and secondary), long cool fermentations often lasting up to a full year, minimal lees stirring, no additions of any kind (commercial yeast, water, acid, enzymes, etc ...)

Ageing: 12 months sur lie in 60 gallon Burgundian barrels. 6 additional months in stainless. 
Cooperage: Francois Freres 100% French Oak, Vosges and Troncais forrests, 40% new oak.

Never any fining or filtration.

Review:

The 2014 Chardonnay Silver Eagle Vineyard is flat out gorgeous. Ample, unctuous and inviting, the 2014 offers exceptional depth, silkiness and nuance. Apricot jam, honey, honeysuckle, orange peel and baked apple all flesh out in the glass. The interplay of rich, textured fruit and bright aromatics is compelling. The 2014 is a bold, opulent wine from Matt Courtney and yet it retains remarkable balance. -Vinous 95 Points

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Grand Veneur Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc La Fontaine 2015


Grand Veneur Chateauneuf Du Pape Blanc La Fontaine is made from 100% Roussane.

Yellow-gold color. The nose is rich in aromas of citrus fruit, tropical fruit, quince and honey, with a touch of vanilla. On the palate, the same aromas appear together with a fatness combining exotic fruit and vanilla : the wine is rich, generous and elegant, with extraordinary length. "La Fontaine" is often considerated to be one of the best Châteauneuf du Pape white, and it is by definition a superb gastronomy wine.

Best between 1 and 8 years.

 


Review:

"A bigger, richer wine, the 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape La Fontaine Blanc is still aging in barrel and is marginally darker in color than the classic white. Buttered apples, brioche, honeycomb and hint of orange blossom emerge from this full-bodied, concentrated, seriously textured white that has moderate acidity and tons of fruit. It will be interesting to see how this comes together, but it has serious potential. - Jeb Dunnuck"

- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (Issue 227, October 28th 2016), 92-94+ pts

 Wine Advocate: 94
Wolfberger Alsace Grand Cru Riesling Rangen de Thann 2012

Mineral, spicy, minty with some eucalyptus notes, tropical fruits, grapefruit. Balanced and exotic in the finish, with long lasting flavors.

The Rangen Grand Cru is located in Thann, deep in the south of Alsace. Its particular soil is made of volcano-clastic rocks that drink up the heat of the day and send it back out again at night. The composition of the soil allows the roots of the vines to drink deeply from the mineral-rich sub-soil. Its southern exposure has the advantage of refreshing, drying winds in case of dampness. The high slopes are quite steep, reaching 68% in some places, requiring that the harvest be done by abseiling or roping down. Perfect for aging, these wines will reveal even more qualities after several years in the cellar.

Pair with Serve with fish, seafood, sushi, sashimi, goat cheese, vegetarian food.

 


Review:

The nose is dominated by fresh citrus notes of lime and lemon zest, underneath it, a riper fruit is hinted at. The palate reveals it as tart, fresh and juicy red apple. There is wonderful, tingling concentration on the palate, given extra pizzazz by the bright, zesty acidity. Notes of stone and chalk peek through. The palate is dry and slender but concentrated and toned. The finish plays with delicious grapefruit notes. - Wine Enthusiast 92 Points

"There's refreshing, cool earthiness to this tight young riesling, a deep mineral tone and root-cellar savor that balances its floral, lemon-curd flavors. As potent and earthy as the flavors may be they finish clean, with enough cut to stand next to braised rabbit or other white-meat game."

- Wine & Spirits Magazine (December 2016), 93 pts

 Wine Enthusiast: 92
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Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013

Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 


The 2013 Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard may be even better. Notes of caramelized citrus, hazelnut, apple blossom, lemon oil and orange marmalade are all present in this wine of dazzling aromatic and flavor dimension. It is full-bodied, again shows some wet pebbles (which I equate with minerality), vibrant acidity, and no real evidence of any oak. Much like the 2012, the finish goes on for 45+ seconds. This is another killer Chardonnay from Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer. -Wine Advocate 100 Points

What an extraordinary tasting this was at the Marcassin winery just north of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. Just when you think the duo of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer can’t make greater wines, they bowl over the taster with an array of exquisite quality that really must be tasted to be believed. Marcassin was probably California’s greatest Chardonnay after the famous Chalone winery fell from the pinnacle and onto hard times in the 1980s (and it has yet to rebound). Moreover, Marcassin set the bar for great Pinot Noir as well. And while both their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have many competitors these days (from the likes of Harford Court, Mark Aubert, Kistler, Kongsgaard, DuMol, Thomas Brown, Peter Michael, Martinelli and Luc Morlet, to name a few), John Wetlaufer and Helen Turley remain the reigning geniuses of these two varietals in California. Certainly, their meticulous attention to detail in both the vineyard and in the winemaking and élevage account for the quality, but they were among the pioneers who saw the unlimited potential from the Sonoma Coast, now a relatively crowded neighborhood. This was a remarkable tasting that simply blew me away, and I have been following their wines since the first Marcassins were made in the early 1990s. By the way, any doubts about aging potential should be crushed immediately, as even in the most challenging vintages in California, Marcassin Chardonnays and Pinots have aged as well as, if not better than just about any grand cru white Burgundy. For example, 1995 and 1996 Chardonnays, particularly those from the Lorenzo Vineyard, are incredibly youthful and dynamic, and the Marcassin Estate Pinot Noir, even from vintages such as 1998, is simply amazing. The three Chardonnays tasted include two perfect wines. Perhaps the closest comparison is not to anything made in California, but a Corton-Charlemagne in a top vintage from the famous Jean François Coche-Dury.



 Wine Advocate: 100