2006 Arietta "Quartet" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1054609 93 points Wine Spectator

 This captures the essence of Bordeaux complexity with Napa style, delivering a complex, compelling mix of spicy herb, dried currant, sage, mineral and tobacco in a full-bodied style and ending with firm, spicy, earthy tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2017.  (3/2009)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good, deep ruby-red. Rather sullen aromas of bitter chocolate, licorice, smoke and menthol. Sweet, layered and deep, with a subtle sweetness to the flavors of blueberry and dark chocolate. Finishes with sweet tannins and an edge of acidity. Impressive for what is essentially this producer's entry-level wine.  (6/2009)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The Pichon Lalande/Palmer-like blend called Quartet (generally 40+% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30-35% Merlot, 15-24% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot) is an intriguing wine. The 2006 Quartet reveals a dark ruby color along with notes of crushed rocks, spring flowers, red and black fruits, medium to full body, and elevated, austere tannins. It should be forgotten for 3-4 years, and drunk over the following 15 years.  (12/2008)

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Price: $69.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/25/2010 | Send Email
Sure it might not be the best time to gush about a $50 dollar Bordeaux Blend, but there is an amazing amount of value to be found in the 2006 Arietta "Quartet" Napa Valley Red Blend. Andy Erickson is the winemaker and his resume is impressive. At one time or another he’s made wine for Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle, Favia, Ovid, Dancing Hares and Leviathan. If that list doesn’t impress a Napa wine fan I don’t know what will. The Quartet is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot from a vineyard at the top of Howell Mountain farmed by the renowned grower David Abreu. Big and juicy, the nose integrates the boysenberry, currant and pastille notes seamlessly with expensive, flashy French oak toastiness and spice. Fruit remains the focus of the wine, and while this is surely oak laden and wonderfully ripe, it remains distant from the pitfalls so commonly found in most Napa oak bombs. There is no glycerin-y sweetness here to make this cumbersome, nor is there an abundance of oak taking away from the pretty raw materials on display. What there is, is plenty of intense graphite, cocoa, black currant, gravel, fennel and sandalwood flavors on display, all tied together by a fine dusting of ripe tannins and surprising acidic energy. If you don’t have the money to spend on some of the huge Napa cult wines but want to get a feel for what they are all about, this is a perfect place to start.

Additional Information:


Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.