These rare vintages are chosen by Porthos, a one-stop-shop for information and access to small-production wines in Napa Valley and beyond. Made under the watchful eye of Andy Erickson of Screaming Eagle fame, the Arietta offerings feature plush tannins, varietal purity, and opulent flavors. And while Screaming Eagle commands over $1,700 per bottle, the Ariettas—all of which boast ratings of 95 or above from The Wine Insiders—afford similar quality at a fraction of the price. Overseen by David Ramey, known for reds that are rich, lush, and silky smooth, the 2007 and 2006 Ramey Napa Cabernet Sauvignons are thrilling, receiving Insiders ratings of 95+ and 94, respectively.
Named after the wine-drinking musketeer from the Alexandre Dumas novel, Porthos is a one-stop-shop for information and access to small-production wines in Napa Valley and Sonoma County. The company began in 2000 as a newsletter that co-founder Hal Oates wrote for his friends and family in Texas; interest piqued by his descriptions, those on his list began seeking his advice about how to acquire these hard-to-find California vintages. To serve that need, Porthos expanded into wine sales, and now also offers both a personalized wine-shopping service and trio of mail-order wine clubs.