Arietta H Block Hudson Vineyards Napa Valley is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The Cabernet Franc is solely from the 2.3 acre Hudson Vineyards H Block, a shy-bearing, volcanic, southwest facing slope, which naturally yields just three tons per acre. The Merlot is grown in the Hudson Vineyards N Block, about 100 yards away. Typically, the two fields are picked simultaneously and co-fermented, assuring a marriage of the varieties. The Cabernet Franc provides the cassis, blueberry, brown sugar character, while the Merlot brings dark chocolate to the aroma and a chewy richness to the finish. Harvested near the extreme of ripeness, the wine is fermented with its indigenous yeast, macerated with the skins for six weeks, and then aged for two years in all new French oak barrels. Naturally clarified by traditional Bordeaux racking, the blend is bottled without fining or filtration. The intense concentration masks the substantial tannin, allowing the wine to be served young and to age in bottle for 10 or more years.