2016 Arietta H Block Hudson Vineyards Napa Magnum
Arietta Red Wine H Block Hudson Vineyards is Arietta’s flagship blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. First produced in 1996, the wines of Arietta are inspired by our passion for classical music.
Coming on the heels of a prolonged multi-year drought, the 2016 growing season was defined by near-ideal conditions. Rain in March and early April allowed the vines to start the spring with ample moisture in the soil, made for healthy canopies and balanced vines. A dry, mild summer, with only one short heat event, helped the fruit ripen with deep color, intense aromatics, and ample natural acidity. Some growers are commenting that the quality of the wines is perhaps on par with the much-heralded 2013 vintage.
Notes from winemaker Andy Erickson: “This blend of 70% Cabernet Franc and 30% Merlot takes the expression of the Hudson Vineyard terroir to a new level of complexity. The core of the “H Block” cuvée comes from thirty-year-old Cabernet Franc vines planted on a rare volcanic outcropping just above the Hudson “Merlot Cathedral.” The 2016 vintage was co-fermented, taking just the heart of the Merlot block and harvesting it on the same day as the Cabernet Franc. As usual, native yeast fermentation, and a long, carefully controlled maceration helped to meld together the two varieties, bringing forward the best of what they have to offer. After aging for twenty months in two-thirds new French oak, the wine was bottled without fining or filtration to preserve the power and subtlety of the vintage. Aromas of lavender, orange blossom, and anise are in harmony with the ripe Napa Valley fruit profile. Solid and well textured, the wine flows across the palate, blackberry, currant, and black cherry flavors mixed with hints of dried flowers, flint, and black licorice. This vintage of “H Block” will certainly age for decades to come.”
Blend: 70% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, co-fermented
Fruit Sources: 100% Hudson Vineyard, Carneros
Age of Vines: 29 years
Élevage: Aged 22 months in French oak barrels, 68% new
Production: 411 cases
(96 Points) Composed of 70% Cabernet Franc and 30% Merlot, the 2016 Proprietary Red H Block is deep purple-black in color and a little youthfully shy to begin, unfurling to reveal stunning blackberries, black raspberries, kirsch and cassis scents with touches of cigar box and underbrush. The full-bodied palate is relatively restrained with loads of savory layers superbly framed by ripe, fine-grained tannins, finishing long and mineral tinged. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate