Consistently one of the great values in premium Cabernet Sauvignon, 2018 stays on trend. Full of structure and aging potential, yet seductively forward and concentrated with aromas of crème de cassis, plum, anise and fresh herbs on a bed of vanilla. Framed in fine-grained tannins with hints of cedar, this is a sophisticated Cab with a long, voluptuous finish.
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 Signature is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and 5% Malbec. It was harvested from September 18 to October 30, and the alcohol weighed in at 14.5%. Deep garnet-purple in color, exuberant notes of warm plums, ripe black and red currants and black cherries come bounding out of the glass with suggestions of cedar chest, unsmoked cigars and beef drippings. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is simply singing with juicy black fruits and velvety tannins, finishing long with some baking spice hints coming through. Open for business now, this wine can easily be cellared for 20 years or more.