2004 Arietta "H Block Hudson" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1031355 90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium ruby-red. More balsamic and less primary on the nose than the 2005, offering an essence of currant and smoky earth and a whiff of cabernet franc leafiness. Slightly edgy acidity and serious, somewhat drying tannins suppress the wine's underlying sweetness of fruit today, making it tough going. This very backward wine is ultimately dominated by its broad, powerful tannins.  (6/2011)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This 70% Cabernet Franc/30% Merlot blend offers spice box, cedar, clove and baking spices along with red and black currants that emerge from this medium-bodied, pleasant, seemingly mature 2004. The wine is somewhat compact and narrowly constructed, but well made. It should be drunk over the next 4-5 years  (4/2014)

K&L Notes

This is the second to last vintage of Arietta's signature wine made by John Kongsgaard, who sold his interest in the winery to co-owner Fritz Hatton in 2005. New winemaker Andy Erickson worked with Kongsgaard on the 2005 vintage before taking the reins entirely in 2006. According to the winery: "In barrel and at bottling the Arietta H Block 2004 was beautifully perfumed and forward, with flavors of medium density and great persistence." Like many Ariettas, this wine needed time to rest, but this should be drinking at its peak now.

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Price: $69.99

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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.


- 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.
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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.