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Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • RP96
  • WW94
14.5% ABV
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4.4 10 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon has been Chappellet's 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.

Deep, rich and beautifully structured, this is a classic expression of hillside Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, offering alluring aromas of blackberry, cassis, and chocolate, along with hints of espresso, anise and fragrant herbs. On the palate, creamy oak and concentrated berry and black cherry flavors are underscored by velvety tannins and subtle notes of cola, clove, and black licorice.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Signature has a very deep garnet-purple color and opens with wonderfully expressive notes of warm cassis, baked plums, black raspberries and kirsch with suggestions of underbrush, lilacs and chocolate box. Medium to full-bodied, the palate reveals layers of red and black berries with stunning freshness and an approachable, grainy texture, finishing long and earthy.
WW 94
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: One of the most exciting wines I first sold as a specialty wine retailer was the 1971 Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon—I sold this wine in the mid-1970s at the Ashbury Market in San Francisco. This offering broadened my horizons and proved to be an important stepping stone and took me on a journey into discovering some of California's new and emerging wineries at that time (Caymus, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, Fetzer Vineyards, Kenwood Vineyards, and many more). The 2016 Chappellet Signature Cabernet is again one of the top players in the Napa Valley. TASTING NOTES: This wine exhibits the pinnacle of power and balance. Its aromas and flavors of luscious black fruit, subtle oak accents, and savory spices make it a perfect pair mate with a juicy ribeye and a dab of a triple crème blue-veined cheese. Tasting this wine recalls the best moments of my early retailing days. (Tasted: October 23, 2018, San Francisco, CA)
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Chappellet

Chappellet Winery

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Chappellet Winery, Napa Valley, California
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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 as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of 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 enjoys success all over the globe. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy 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 is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile 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 profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

CHMCPL3201016_2016 Item# 512789