The sources of the Arietta Merlot Hudson Vineyards are the superb southwest facing G and I Blocks in the Hudson Vineyards on the Napa side of Carneros.
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: “The 2016 Arietta Merlot, as is true with most vintages, is 100% Merlot. The grapes come from the oldest vines planted on Hudson Vineyards, from a block Lee Hudson has referred to as the “Merlot Cathedral.” The vines indeed are statuesque, deeply rooted, and able to ripen the fruit gradually and fully. The wine from 2016 showcases the strength of this great terroir, presenting the full spectrum of Merlot character. Notes of blue and black fruits dance with aromas of baking spices, cocoa, pot de crème and graphite. On the palate the combination of fresh acidity and rounded but structured tannins is palpable. This wine is a reminder of just how impressive Merlot can be when grown on the right soils, in the cooler climes of the Napa Valley. It will be pure pleasure to taste this wine over the years as it develops in the bottle.”