Well, we begged, and the Chappellets were kind enough to release a few cases of their luxurious and rich Merlot to us - it otherwise is sold almost entirely direct. Prepare yourself for aromas of truffles, mint, candied plum, coffee and amaretto cherries. This is one of the valley's finest Merlot wines, and it's half the price of many of them!
If you asked us for our list of Napa Valley wineries currently making the highest quality, most complete, most consistent, most interesting, most ageworthy wines for the money, Chappellet Winery would be at the top. Consider all the metrics: track record, intrinsic quality, taste of the soil, availability, quality-price rapport, freshness, and visceral excitement. Is this the finest winery, top-to-bottom, in the Napa Valley? Why are the wines so good? First, take a great terroir: volcanic terraces high on Pritchard Hill that were first planted in 1882. It’s no accident that Colgin, Continuum, and Bryant Family set up shop in the neighborhood. Then we have 47 years of accumulated knowledge from some of the best winemaking talent the valley has ever seen: Philip Togni, Joe Cafaro, Tony Soter, Cathy Corison and finally Philip Corallo-Titus, who has been at the winemaking helm since 1990. And finally there’s the huge Chappellet family, dedicated as a team to farm great grapes and make superb wines since 1968.
Blended with 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot, this is a thick and concentrated showing of the variety, plush and lushly spicy in clove and cinnamon. The fruit is plummy and rich in dark cherry, toasted oak and vanilla tea.