The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2016

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70  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2016 90 Castello di Monsanto 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Italy ($25) Monsanto is a ceaseless experimenter and innovator in Chianti Classico. Black raspberry, violets, nice spice notes and lovely balance. 90% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo and Colorino. MW IMPORTS (MIONETTO USA) 94 Tenuta di Capezzana 2012 Ghiaie della Furba, Toscana IGT, Italy ($60) The Super Tuscan from one of the oldest estates in Tuscany, dating back to 804 ad. Silky texture and lovely balance; racy, complex and long. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah, 20% Merlot. MW IMPORTS (MIONETTO USA) 93 El Esteco 2012 Chañar Punco, Calchaquí Valley, Argentina ($72) A dark and fragrant high-altitude wine from Salta province with rich texture and ripe berry fruit; deep, balanced and complex. 65% Malbec, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. FREDERICK WILDMAN AND SONS VALUE AND BY-THE-GLASS RECOMMENDATIONS 88 Montes 2016 Spring Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Colchagua Valley, Chile ($12) Early-harvested for racy citrus and clean entry on the palate; tangy and fresh with spice and balance. GUARACHI WINE PARTNERS 88 Alamos 2015 Torrontès, Salta, Argentina ($13) Made by the renowned Catena family; fresh, smooth and spicy with tangy acidity and bright style; balanced and long. E&J GALLO 88 Peter Zemmer 2015 Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige–Südtirol DOC, Italy ($16) Aromatic Pinot Grigio from the Italian Alps; dry, juicy and smooth with bright acid structure. HB WINE MERCHANTS 89 J. Lohr 2015 Flume Crossing Sauvignon Blanc, Arroyo Seco, Monterey ($14) New and used acacia barrels add texture to this Sauv Blanc; fresh, juicy and long with lots of charm. Inspired by Music ARIETTA HITS ALL THE RIGHT NOTES FRITZ HATTON IS A FIXTURE ON THE wine auction scene, serving as principal auctioneer for Zachys Wine Auctions and, most famously, for Auction Napa Valley, the country's most distinguished charity wine event. But when Hatton isn't on the podium with hammer in hand, he's likely in the cellar with winemaker Andy Erickson tending his own label, Arietta. Sourced from specially selected blocks in some of the most celebrated cool- climate vineyards in southern Napa Valley—including Coombsville for the Cabernet and Carneros for the Arietta Red Wine H Block—the limited-production Arietta wines are a collector's dream. (Arietta refers to the slow movement from Beethoven's transcendent final piano sonata, the manuscript of which is featured on the label of the Arietta Cabernet.) Hatton and his wife, Caren, founded Arietta in 1996 in par tnership with winemaker John Kongsgaard and his wife, Maggy. The couples shared a passion for fine wine and classical music. A very special 2.3-acre block of Cabernet Franc on the Hudson Ranch on the Napa side of Carneros served as a star ting point. The Arietta project has grown with the selection of additional Hudson blocks of Merlot and Syrah, used in two additional wines: Arietta Red Wine Variation One (a Merlot and Syrah blend) and Arietta Merlot Hudson Vineyards, produced only in selected vintages. A 1.6-acre block of clone 337 Cabernet Sauvignon in Coombsville became the core of the Arietta Cabernet in 2006. The same year, Hatton introduced Arietta Quartet, a blend of four Bordeaux varietals, the core of which is now a three-acre vineyard in Coombsville planted by famed viticulturist David Abreu. Arietta's white wine, On the White Keys, is sourced from very rare hillside blocks of Sauvignon Blanc on Sonoma Mountain and two tiny old-vine Semillon blocks in the Hyde Vineyards in Napa Carneros. It is barrel-fermented and aged for eight months in a combination of stainless steel, new and French oak barrels. 92 Arietta 2014 On the White Keys, California ($65) The winery's single white wine is minerally with bright acidity and lush flavors; elegant and classic with breadth and balance. 81% Sauvignon Blanc, 19% Semillon. 93 Arietta 2013 Merlot, Hudson Vineyards, Napa Valley ($75) Smooth, lush texture; warm and ripe with rounded plum and spice; pure, rich and long. 92 Arietta 2013 Quartet, Napa Valley ($65) Velvety on the palate with juicy acidity and bright berry fruit; toasty, lush and balanced on the long finish. 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot. 94 Arietta 2013 Variation One, Napa Valley ($100) Inviting and spicy with rounded and smooth texture; juicy and fresh with bright, bold flavors. 52% Merlot, 48% Syrah. 93 Arietta 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($125) Made from Coombsville fruit; lifted and tangy with pure, balanced flavors; elegant, generous and showing lots of finesse and style. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. 95 Arietta 2013 H Block, Hudson Vineyards, Napa Valley ($150) Smooth and luscious with crushed velvet texture and lovely, juicy raspberry fruit; toasty and complex, generous and long. 54% Cabernet Franc, 46% Merlot. blocks in the Hyde Vineyards in Napa Carneros. It is barrel-fermented and aged for eight months in a combination of stainless steel, new and French oak barrels. 94 bold flavors. 52% Merlot, 48% Syrah.

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