Chappellet Merlot 2016
From its enticing aromas of black tea, cherry, cedar, and smoke to its silky richness and long, complex finish, this wine shows why Chappellet loves mountain-grown Merlot. On the palate, a core of black cherry is encircled by layers of dark chocolate, currant, cassis, and graphite, as well as oak-inspired hints of vanilla, clove, and spice.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A clear line of fresh cherry flavor drives this wine, rosy and plump, its fragrance lifted by the tart redapple- skin melding of acidity and tannins that gives it a lilting impression of birdsong. The alcohol stands out in the end, suggesting that you wait six months for the structure to integrate. Or serve it cellar temperature now with steak tartare.
There is 10% Malbec, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot in this wine, which represents a refined and complex expression of the grape from a mountain site. Smoky oak meets black cherry, leather, dark chocolate and a touch of dried herb—flavors that accent a balance of tannin and structure. —V.B.
The Chappellets' romance with Pritchard Hill began when Donn and Molly Chappellet first glimpsed the mountain's spectacular vistas in the late 1960s. Inspired by the notion that Bacchus loves the hills, Donn and Molly followed the advice of legendary winemaker André Tchelistcheff and settled on the rocky eastern slopes of the Napa Valley. There, on the mountain’s serene and picturesque hillsides, the Chappellets established their home and winery, raising their children and cultivating the vineyards.
Since being founded by Donn and Molly in 1967, Chappellet has earned acclaim championing the robust power and complexity of wines crafted from mountain grapes. At the same time, Chappellet has helped to establish Pritchard Hill as one of California’s most revered winegrowing sites. To honor the mountain's rich, expressive character, the winemaking team focuses on creating extraordinary, age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignons that embody the intensity and finesse of fruit from Pritchard Hill.
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.