When you make wine like Phillip Corallo-Titus, you get access to the very best blocks in prime vineyards like Dutton Ranch. This is super-seductive and fine, with deep black fruit coursing through it like only the Russian River can deliver! The winery describes “currant, crème de cassis, and dark cherry, followed by subtle notes of anise, clove, mocha and rose petals.” Get those quail marinating and fire up the grill!
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 Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch is another very pretty and nuanced wine in this range. Sweet floral notes and silky tannins accent a core of ripe Pinot fruit. Soft and inviting, with impeccable balance, the 2017 is gorgeous today. Drink it over the next decade or so.