Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
The saying goes: "Bacchus loves the hills". We think one of his favorites must be Pritchard Hill where Chappellet Vineyard makes its home. This winery has earned a reputation for crafting benchmark wines defined by their strength, finesse and age-worthiness, and this Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon is no exception. Give your first bottle some time in a decanter and then pour generous glasses to go with simple gorgonzola crostini. The concentration and structure of this Napa Cab will handle them beautifully. If you prefer to access the gorgeous fruit in this Chappellet red, offer up instead some bite-sized meatballs with a pomegranate currant sauce. Moving along, the dark, ripe fruit, subtle earth and herb notes, and lovely, smooth tannins require a robust partner in food. Lamb, beef and some game and game birds will do the job nicely. Our first choice with this Signature is a roast leg of lamb with mint pesto and mustard crumbs. A simple option which will really bring out the lovely tannins and espresso in the wine is your favorite (not too lean) grilled steak with a black, white and pink peppercorn sauce. If you're a game lover, bring out the dark red fruit in this California red with some roast wild boar and a balsamic dried cherry sauce. Heaven. The wealth of flavor of this Chappellet requires another course. The savory route is effortless with a formidable, ripe Camembert. But if you're in the mood for a sweet treat, the dark chocolate and espresso notes in this Napa stunner are perfect for individual molten bittersweet chocolate lava cakes. This is one hill you're going to want to climb, winelovers!!
Robert Parker, Jr.'s Wine Advocate: "'We’re really excited by the 2018s,' Phillip Corallo-Titus, winemaker for Chappellet, recently informed me. '2018 was a big vintage, but there are examples like 1982 in Bordeaux where high-yielding vintages were also great. Our vineyard manager, Dave Perio, knows what to do when a big vintage comes through. It is all about multiple passes, thinning out clusters when they are just coming in, taking off the wings, then the green thinning. The final move was to take off another three clusters per vine. Dave’s good about taking flak for all the fruit on the ground! "Don’t look on the ground," he says, "look on the vine." That was a constant theme for us—lightening the load. The whole crop moved with uniformity. We had a big crop. We had lots of options for blending—great wines and lots of ‘em. I’m the last one to declare a vintage to be great, but we knew we had something very special.'
Indeed, Chappellet has done an amazing job with capturing the spirit of this bright, vibrant vintage. These wines absolutely shimmer with energy!
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."
Winery: "The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon has been our flagship wine for more than three decades. It is a benchmark for the long-lived hillside wines of the Napa Valley; full of structure and aging potential, yet seductively forward in its varietal character. The dry, rocky soils of Pritchard Hill produce small, intensely flavorful grapes. Crop thinning allows for full, even ripening and further elevates flavor complexity.
A classic expression of hillside Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, this luxurious and powerfully structured wine begins with aromas of ripe berry, cherry, cedar and cigar box, as well as notes of dark chocolate, espresso, vanilla and clove. On the palate, rich, but well-knit tannins, underscore silky berry liqueur flavors, carrying the wine to a lingering finish with hints of bay leaf and anise."
|Varietal||85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and 5% Malbec|
|Region||Napa Valley, California|