Donn Chappellet’s belief that “Baccus loves the hills” has paid off in another exceptional bottle. Jeb Dunnuck say this is “as good as it gets” with a “plush, supple texture that hides solid underlying structure and tannins.” Purity and flawless balance mark this as a great vintage and a sure bet for the cellar.
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 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill is composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot. It was aged in 100% new French oak for 22 months. The alcohol weighed in at 14.5%. Deep garnet-purple in color, it charges out of the gate with bold expressions of warm cassis, wild blueberries, and black raspberries, plus hints of chocolate box, menthol, tapenade, smoked meats, and pencil lead. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is bursting with vibrant black fruits, framed by fantastically ripe, fine-grained tannins and lovely freshness, finishing long and mineral-laced. Drink Date: 2022 – 2052.
Always one of the top wines in a vintage, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill is another gorgeous wine with a more plush, supple texture that hides solid underlying structure and tannins. Beautiful notes of blueberries, new leather, camphor, violets, and smoked tobacco all flow to a full-bodied, seamless, gorgeously textured beauty that’s very much in the style of the vintage. Possessing remarkable purity, flawless balance, and building tannins, give bottles 4 5 years of bottle age, count yourself lucky, and enjoy over the following 25+ years.” 98 Points: As good as it gets. These wines reach the peak of my personal scale of quality.