2006 Arietta "Variation One" Napa Valley Red Blend
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good full medium ruby. Wild aromas of black raspberry, game, smoke and gravel. Lush and sweet, with the gamey quality joined by chocolate and roasted herbs on the very ripe palate. Finishes with substantial fine-grained tannins. Big and rich but fresh: winemaker Andy Erickson told me he uses the merlot "to tame and freshen the syrah, and to lower the wine's pH."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The blend of 55-60% Syrah and the rest Merlot is called Variation One (450-500 cases produced). The dense purple-hued 2006 Variation One exhibits notes of asphalt, chocolate, blackberries, and forest floor, and an extravagantly rich, full-bodied style with none of the noticeable tannin found in some of the other 2006s. This broad, savory, complex wine should provide provocative drinking over the next 15 or more years. (RP)
Firm, complex and full-bodied, with spicy, peppery wild berry flavors that walk the line of balance without wavering, ending with firm, dry tannins. Ends with a nice burst of grapey berry fruit and mineral and then some creamy oak. (JL)