1999 Arietta Napa Valley Merlot

SKU #1047496 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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. (RP)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Very good medium ruby. Complex, ripe aromas of black raspberry, bitter chocolate, game, iron, smoke and licorice, along with exotic notes of nutmeg, mace and five-spice powder. Very concentrated and sappy, with tightly wound black fruit flavors, firm acids and solid, ripe tannins. Loads of extract here. Not your typical California merlot. Youthful and built to develop in bottle. This may well merit a higher score with a few years of additional aging.  (5/2002)

92 points Wine Spectator

 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.  (5/2002)

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Varietal:

Merlot

- A very popular red grape variety found in the great wines of St. Emilion and Pomerol. It is the most planted variety in Bordeaux, and it has also become an extremely fashionable red in many regions including California. Although it has a reputation to be smooth, and easy to drink when young, Merlot is also capable of producing extremely intense wines as well. It is often used as a blending agent with Cabernet Sauvignon.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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.