Folks, this is simply as good as Napa Cab Franc gets. Period. Soaring, near-flamboyant aromas of violets, boysenberry liqueur, scorched earth, raspberry candy, and mint give way to a rich presence in the mouth that coats every corner of the palate and won't relent. This fresh, complex, noble wine would hold its own and probably embarrass a top-vintage Cheval Blanc on any day of the week, anywhere. Give it 10-15 years in the cellar and prepare to be amazed.
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.
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Cabernet Franc displays pronounced red and black cherries, mulberries and warm raspberries scents with underlying blueberries, pencil shavings and dried Provence herbs plus a waft of lavender. Medium to full-bodied, the palate offers mouth-filling red and blue fruits with a firm, grainy frame and bold freshness, finishing long and perfumed.