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Bottle Size: 750ml
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant black cherries, warm cassis, chocolate pie and blackberry preserves notes plus nuances of wild sage, forest floor and tobacco. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is elegantly played and refreshing with velvety tannins and a long mineral-tinged finish.
Chappellet Winery is a wine producer based in the Napa Valley. Donn and Molly Chappellet started the winery in 1967 by purchasing land on Pritchard Hill at the advice of legendary California winemaker André Tchelistcheff. Pritchard Hill was an appealing site for a vineyard due to its steep aspect, high elevation and east-facing slopes. Chappellet remains family-owned and in 2011 bought the Sonoma County-based producer, Sonoma-Loeb, who had made its wines at the Chappellet winery for over two decades.
The estate vineyards on Pritchard Hill have an altitude that ranges between 800-1800ft (245-550m) above sea level. Chappellet's specialty is red Bordeaux varieties, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, which accounts for 25 of the vineyard's 34 individual plots. Its flagship wine is the critically acclaimed Pritchard Hill Cabernet Sauvignon which is sold mostly to members of its wine club by allocation. Even so, this wine often sells out due to high demand and limited production. Chappellet's other wines have varied in production based on vintage but have included wines made from Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Sirah, Zinfandel, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc.
Chappellet prides itself on its commitment to its land and the environment. Only 16 percent of the estate is under vine, the rest being uncultivated land. Furthermore, the entirety of the Pritchard Hill vineyard is organic and in 2008, solar panels were installed that generate enough energy to completely offset the winery's needs.
Current condition: Ready to drink, will keep
The 2017 California vintage is likely to be most remembered for the extraordinary October wildfires.
An intensely wet winter saw severe flooding but after what had been a long drought, the rains did bring some benefits – namely rejuvenating the water content...
The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon has been their flagship wine for more than three decades. It is a benchmark for the long-lived hillside wines of the Napa Valley; full of structure and aging potential, yet seductively forward in its concentrated varietal character. The dry, rocky soils of Pritchard Hill produce small, intensely flavorful grapes. Crop thinning allows for full, even ripening and elevates flavor complexity.
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TASTING NOTES 92-95 points Wine Spectator. Tasting date: March, 2017 "The Vaulorent bottling is a selection...
TASTING NOTES The 2018 is matured in 20% new oak. It has a well-defined and...