93+ points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "Arietta's 2016 Merlot Hudson Vineyards is just as impressive from bottle as it was from barrel. Powerful and savory, the Merlot packs a real punch. Black cherry, grilled herbs, graphite and menthol add character to this decidedly brooding wine. Far from an easygoing Merlot, the 2016 at Arietta is going to need a few years to come into its own, and will drink beautifully for many years beyond that. Drink: 2022-2036. (Dec 2018)"
93 points CellarTracker.com community score.
Producer notes: "The 2016 Arietta Merlot, as is true with most vintages, is 100% Merlot. The grapes come from the oldest vines planted on Hudson Vineyards, from a block Lee Hudson has referred to as the 'Merlot Cathedral.' The vines indeed are statuesque, deeply rooted, and able to ripen the fruit gradually and fully. The wine from 2016 showcases the strength of this great terroir, presenting the full spectrum of Merlot character. Notes of blue and black fruits dance with aromas of baking spices, cocoa, pot de crème and graphite. On the palate the combination of fresh acidity and rounded but structured tannins is palpable. This wine is a reminder of just how impressive Merlot can be when grown on the right soils, in the cooler climes of the Napa Valley. It will be pure pleasure to taste this wine over the years as it develops in the bottle. Aged 22 months in French oak barrels (61% new). 285 cases produced."