Pritchard Hill is Chappellet’s raison d’etre, the force behind all the specialness this winery produces. This wine is an authoritative display of subtle ripeness, intense aromatics and polished tannins. Donn Chappellet’s belief that “Baccus loves the hills” has paid off in this exceptional bottle. Your cellar and your dinner table are waiting for this.
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 Sauvignon Pritchard Hill comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant black cherries, warm cassis, chocolate pie and blackberry preserves notes plus nuances of wild sage, forest floor and tobacco. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is elegantly played and refreshing with velvety tannins and a long mineral-tinged finish.
The flagship is the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill, and this cuvée just about always represents the pinnacle of mountain Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. The 2017 is 100% estate Cabernet Sauvignon and reveals a deep purple color as well a stunning bouquet of blue fruits, burning embers, dark chocolate, sage brush, and crushed rocks. It's powerful, full-bodied, and concentrated, and the tannins clamp down on the finish enough to warrant hiding this beauty in the cellar for a solid 5-7 years. If drinking today, give it an hour or two in a decanter. It's another stunning wine from this estate.