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Classy. Dark, rich and full-bodied, with excellent structure, firm tannins and a solid core of earthy currant, herb, cedar, pencil lead and mineral flavors that are deep, complex and full-blown. Remarkable detail and finesse. Firmly tannic, it's a good candidate for cellaring.
The 1999 Merlot (which includes 10% Syrah) exhibits a Pomerol-like character. It represents a synthesis in style between the elegance and complexity of a French wine, and the power and ripe fruit of a top-flight California offering. An opaque purple color is followed by aromas of cola, chocolate, and macerated jammy black cherries. This super-concentrated, high strung, packed effort appears to be as tight as a coiled spring. There is great fruit on the attack as well as an imposing structure, but it feels like that is all being held in check at present. Despite the big, intense flavors, the wine is elegant and light on its feet. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2020.
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.
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