A cuvée bearing Donn Chappellet’s signature,in a sense this is their flagship wine. Folks, this wine is a GIVEAWAY, underpriced by about 50% compared to its peers. Galloni agreed, calling this “powerful, dense and super-expressive. Mocha, bittersweet chocolate, spice, new leather and menthol wrap around a core of beautifully layered, dark-fleshed fruit. Ample, creamy and resonant on the palate…Best of all, the Signature remains one of the very finest values readers will find in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.” Great Napa cab doesn’t have to cost $100…You just have to know where to look.
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.
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Signature has a very deep garnet-purple color and opens with wonderfully expressive notes of warm cassis, baked plums, black raspberries and kirsch with suggestions of underbrush, lilacs and chocolate box. Medium to full-bodied, the palate reveals layers of red and black berries with stunning freshness and an approachable, grainy texture, finishing long and earthy.