Chappellet Winery2004 Mountain Cuvee
Winemaker Phillip Titus calls this a “sweetheart of a wine,” and he’d be right. But I think it’s a bit more than that as I think it’s a wine of substance and one which has some legs for longevity. As a bonus, check out that price to the right. There aren’t many places in the Napa Valley (Titus makes a $25 Zinfandel for his family’s winery), especially from such a pedigree as Chappellet, where one can find an excellent red wine priced at under 30 bucks.
While this wine can technically, I suppose, be called a “mountain” cuvee, about 40 percent of the Cabernet and Merlot comes from the Dry Creek Road area of Oak Knoll and the Red Hen Vineyard, also from that appellation’s flatland. The remainder – that didn’t make the cut into Chappellet’s signature blend – comes from its storied Pritchard Hill vineyard in the eastern hills above St. Helena.
The wine has lovely berry aromas and round, juicy black fruit on the palate with good body. Despite the accessible price, this wine is young and tannic and will age for 15 years perhaps. It has great balance and restraint.
It was fermented in mostly old, 1- to 6-year-old French and American barrels, with about 10 percent in new French wood. The listed alcohol is 14.5 percent and perhaps best of all, there was a lot produced – 10,000 cases.
Reviewed March 12, 2007 by Alan Goldfarb.
Other reviewed wines from Chappellet Winery
2004 Chenin Blanc "Dry"
(Napa Valley)Alan Goldfarb 1/16/2007
Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.