If you crave the precision of a great white Burgundy, and the sheer power of Aubert or Kistler wines, this is going to rock your body. Simply voluptuous and beckoning Chardonnay, this blooms from the glass with notes of toasty pineapple, lychee and apricot, and fresh cream. Ravishing stuff!
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 2017 Chardonnay Calesa Vineyard is a very pretty, understated wine. Orchard fruit, pineapple, white flowers and mint are all nicely lifted in this right, super-expressive Petaluma Gap Chardonnay. Bright saline notes punctuate the super-expressive finish.