Friday, June 30, 2023

Chappellet "Signature" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Chappellet "Signature" Napa Valley Pritchard Hill Cabernet Sauvignon at Angeli's Italian 2006

Friday night dinner out, we dined at Angeli's Italian, our favorite neighborhood trattoria. I took BYOB this aged vintage Napa Cabernet for the occasion. It was a perfect complement pairing with my basic Spaghetti and Meatballs with Bolognase Sauce entree, and Linda's Salmon.

Our exploration of Napa Valley Pritchard Hill Cabernet Sauvignons continues. Over the past two weeks we tasted two other Pritchard Hill labels, Cloud View Vineyards, and the week before we had David Arthur Cabernets at a separate dinner. 

I wrote in detail about the history and unique terroir of Pritchard Hill at the time and mentioned the broad number of ultra-premium labels produced there by legendary top tier producers. 

No discussion of Pritchard Hill is complete without mention Donn Chappellet and his history as one of the first modern era producers to settle that and his presence today as the largest vineyard holdings in the area. 

Hence it was only fitting to include Chappellet "Signature" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon in any discussion and review of Pritchard Hill wines. For more than 30 years, the "Signature" Cabernet Sauvignon label has been Chappellet's flagship wine.

This is the oldest of a half dozen vintages we hold of this label in our cellar. It calls for going out and buying the latest release to replace it to keep the collection going. 

We visited the Chappellett estate vineyards (shown at bottom) and winery up on Pritchard Hill during our Napa Wine Experience back in 2009.

At seventeen years of age, this was consistent with, but better than my previous tasting of this wine back in 2011 as the wine has developed in the bottle aging for another decade. 

This release was awarded 94 points and a 'Cellar Selection' by Wine Enthusiast, and one of the Top 100 Wines of 2009 and Highly Recommended, 94 points by Wine Spectator. Wine Advocate gave it 93 points and said it was "one of the most impressive 2006s I tasted".James Suckling gave it 92 points and Jancis Robinson 18/20 points.

This is actually a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon 76%, Merlot 18%, Malbec 4%, and Petit Verdot 2%.

Tonight's tasting was consistent with what I wrote back in 2011, "Dark inky purple color - medium-full bodied, complex and concentrated blackberry and black raspberry fruits in a tightly wound core accented by spicy oak on a balanced structured tannin finish." 

It's complexity featured highlights of currant fruits and anise with notes of tobacco, dark mocha chocolate, and hints of cedar on the long finish. 

Tonight I rated this 93 points, vs the 92 points from my earlier review.