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WINE REVIEWS

Antonio Galloni's "Vinous"

2014 VINTAGE
2014 Arietta “On the White Keys” – (94) points
The 2014 On The White Keys is a fabulous wine with which to wrap up this tasting. A captivating interplay of rich, tropically leaning flavors meet Sonoma Mountain intensity in this pedigreed white. Candied lemon peel, mint, apricot jam, spices and almonds are all super-expressive in the glass. Unctuous, oily and generous the 2014 is absolutely gorgeous today. (October 2015)

2014 Arietta Cabernet Sauvignon – (91-94) points
The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the showier wines in this range. Dark, bold and incisive, the 2014 races across the palate with notable succulence and depth. Surprisingly open-knit for the year, the Cabernet Sauvignon looks like it will drink well earlier than some of the other 2014s here. A dollop of Cabernet Franc round out the blend. (October 2015)

2014 Arietta Merlot Hudson Vineyard – (92-95) points
A deep, inky wine, the 2014 Merlot presents a super-intriguing mélange of dark fruit and savory notes, all with plenty of mineral underpinning. Graphite, smoke, sage and licorice are some of the signatures in a wine that has the depth and density to age. The Merlot could turn out to be a real overachiever. (October 2015)

2014 Arietta H Block Hudson Vineyard – (93-96) points
Cabernet Franc plays the leading role in the 2014 H Block, a wine that stands out because of its superb balance and integration, even at this early stage. Warm, resonant Cabernet Franc notes open up first, followed by layers of intense dark fruit that flesh out in the glass. Mocha, espresso, blackberry jam, cloves and licorice all meld into the super-expressive finish. (October 2015)

2014 Arietta Variation One Hudson Vineyard – (93-96) points
The 2014 Variation One is inky, powerful and super-opulent, which is largely the result of a high amount of Syrah in the blend. Unctuous and deeply expressive, the 2014 offers an appealing mélange of intense fruit and expressive aromatics, with hints of smoke, black pepper, lavender, spice and crushed rocks that are laced throughout the finish. Explosive and energetic, the 2014 is likely to require at least a few years to unwind. The 2014 is 67% Syrah and 33% Merlot. (October 2015)

2013 VINTAGE
“This is the finest and most complete set of wines I can remember tasting from Arietta. Proprietor Fritz Hatton and winemaker Andy Erickson seem to have reached a new level of quality with the 2012s and 2013s, both of which are brilliant. This is a fabulous showing from top to bottom.”

2013 Arietta On The White Keys – 93 points
The 2013 On The White Keys, Arietta's Sauvignon/Semillon blend, is fabulous. Peach, mint, slate, honey and jasmine meld together in the glass. The 2013 is rich, ample and voluptuous, with bright minerality that comes alive on the finish. Ideally the 2013 needs to be opened a few hours in advance to allow the bouquet to become fully expressive.

2013 Arietta Variation One Hudson Vineyard – (93-96) points
Grilled herbs, smoke, lavender and blue/purplish fruit are some of the many notes that flesh out in the 2013 Variation One. A huge, concentrated wine with serious depth and impeccable balance, the 2013 will thrill readers for the next 10-15 years, perhaps longer. Even with all its size, the 2013 boasts impeccable balance, not to mention tons of class.

2013 Arietta Cabernet Sauvignon – (93-96) points
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon captures the pure intensity of the vintage, with a compelling interplay of fruit and structure. Mocha, cloves, licorice and mint add considerable nuance to a powerful core of blue/blackish tinged fruit. Expressive and beautifully delineated through to the finish, the 2013 has it all.

2013 Arietta H Block Hudson Vineyard – (92-95) points
The 2013 H Block, Arietta's Cabernet Franc/Merlot blend, is striking. Creamy, resonant and rich in the glass, with vibrant underlying energy and structure, the 2013 is incredibly delicious. Black cherries, plums, mocha, spices and new leather are some of the many notes that build to a powerful, explosive finish laced with mint and graphite overtones.

2013 Arietta Merlot Hudson Vineyard – (92-95) points
The 2013 Merlot is above all else a wine of place, and that place is Lee Hudson's vineyard in the Carneros district. Inky dark blue/black fruit, blood orange, flowers and spices meld together in a deep, vibrant wine endowed with superb depth, intensity and structure. The flavors are bright, vibrant and beautifully articulated throughout.

2012 VINTAGE
2012 Arietta Variation One Hudson Vineyard – 94 points
Another rich, extroverted wine, the 2012 Variation One jumps from the glass with exuberant blue and black stone fruit, herbs and new leather. The blend of Syrah and Merlot works beautifully here. Powerful, explosive and enveloping, the Variation One will offer a wide window of pure drinking pleasure over the next 10-15 years. There is so much to like here.

2012 Arietta Quartet – 93 points
A soft, sensual wine, the 2012 Quartet is a great introduction to the Arietta wines in this vintage. Silky tannins and soft contours give the 2012 tons of early appeal. Dark red stone fruits, spices, licorice and mint are some of the many notes that meld into the finish in this strikingly beautiful Bordeaux blend.

2012 Arietta Cabernet Sauvignon – 96+ points
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is fabulous. Gorgeous, expressive aromatics meld into dark red stone fruits in a Cabernet of pure breed and class. These cool sites in Coombsville yield a Cabernet built on savory aromatics, perfume and depth. There is so much going on in the glass that words prove superficial in trying to describe just how beautiful the 2012 is. Majestic. That might do it.

2012 Arietta H Block Hudson Vineyard – 94 points
Mocha, red plums, spices and new leather meld together in the 2012 H Block, Arietta's Cabernet Franc/Merlot blend. Soft, textured and silky on the palate, the 2012 impresses for its depth and creamy, resonant personality. This is another winner from Arietta. Texturally, the H Block is a bit softer in its contours than the Merlot.

2012 Arietta Merlot Hudson – 95 points
Vineyard 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.