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Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • WE92
  • RP92
  • WS91
14.9% ABV
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2.5 2 Ratings
14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2006 vintage of this wine was ranked #6 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2009

Spring 2008 was extremely dry, which prompted the vines to push out early. Though daytime temperatures were picture-perfect, cold evening temperatures and some frost made for challenging conditions. Moderate, consistent temperatures continued throughout the summer, setting up excellent conditions for ripening rich, balanced fruit at harvest.

Ripe and spicy aromas offer vibrant layers of blackberry, cherry and pomegranate intermingled with notes of clove, cinnamon and anise. A savory impression of warm crust, accentuated by baked cherry and espresso elements, adds further depth to an already tantalizing nose. The wine is rich and mouthcoating from the first sip, displaying enticing fruit. Big rounded tannins add flavor and structure, as well as a firm but gentle grip that underscores beautiful concentration and viscosity.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
A wonderful Cabernet, dry and classically structured, notable for elegance and smooth power. A sort of junior version of the Pritchard Hill Estate bottling, it's rich and complex in blackberry and cherry, chocolate and cedar flavors, wrapped into smooth tannins. Now-2014.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Signature is a gorgeous, mid-weight wine laced with sweet dark plums, black cherries, menthol, tobacco and flowers. This gracious Cabernet Sauvignon-based red possesses lovely balance in an understated style. It should drink well for the next 5-7 years, perhaps longer. In the 2008 the blend is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Malbec, 9% Merlot and 5% Petite Verdot. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Offers a complex mix of cedar, dried currant, pencil shavings and mineral in a full-bodied style. Firm and tannic, ending with drying tannins. Drink now through 2022.
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Chappellet

Chappellet Winery

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Chappellet Winery, Napa Valley, California
Video of winery
For more than four decades, the Chappellet family has been crafting world-class wines from fruit cultivated on the steep, rocky slopes of Napa Valley's renowned Pritchard Hill. As one of the first wineries to pioneer high-elevation hillside planting, and one of the few remaining great family-owned Napa Valley wineries, Chappellet Vineyard and Winery has influenced generations of vintners. Throughout its history, Chappellet has also established an enduring legacy as one of California's most acclaimed producers of Cabernet Sauvignon.

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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

ULL313623_08_2008 Item# 109815