Chappellet Vineyard _ Winery

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					                 Chappellet Vineyard & Winery
                                    Press Compendium

Philadelphia Daily News
January 22, 2010
Martha Stewart
“Hey, wake up! It’s Martha for Breakfast!”
“Here are the recipes for a couple of my favorite breakfast foods. Please try the
homemade granola; the maple syrup gives the nuts and oats an amazing flavor. The
recipe for Donn’s waffles, which originated in the kitchen of winemakers Donn and
Molly Chappellet, in California’s Napa Valley, produces the lightest, crunchiest waffles I
have ever eaten.”

Fort Worth Business Press
January 14, 2010
Renie and Sterling Steves
“Wines of the World: Recently Tasted Napa Valley Cabs”
2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Grown off the Silverado Trail on Pritchard Hill, [it] has a richness in its small berries
because the ratio of juice to skins is much less. The fruit tastes slightly darker but the
texture is light and smooth. Master Sommelier Fred Dame said the Signature Cabernet is
a glorious glass of wine!”

Syracuse Post
December 22, 2009
Don Cazentre and Dick Blume
“Holiday Cheer: Syracuse-Area Wine Retailers Offer Good Buys for the Season”
2007 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Elegance and complexity abound; layers of fruit, subtle oak toastiness and fine tannins.
A blockbuster. One to open and enjoy with the special people in your life.”

December 15, 2009
Peter Gianotti
“Great Gifts Often Come In Bottles”
“Grapes and grains yield gifts. Here’s a sampler of first-class beverages for the festivities
2006 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
“The top wine from an outstanding winery: vivid, berry-filled, firm structure, age-

The Wine Advocate

Issue #186, December 2009
Robert Parker
“Northern California - Part 1: Napa Valley”
 “Brilliant wines have emerged from this showcase estate high on Pritchard Hill, which is
producing some of the most exciting Cabernets coming out of Napa. As for my estimated
aging curves, readers should keep in mind that the 1969 Chappellet made by Philip
Togni, at age 40, remains a remarkably young, vibrant wine!”
 2006 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
“The prodigious 2006 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon showcases this
extraordinary area. Blue fruits intermixed with black raspberries, black currants,
blackberries, camphor, spring flowers, and a forest floor-like character contribute to the
complex aromatics. Opaque purple-colored, full-bodied, and seamlessly constructed with
superb integration of wood, tannin, alcohol, and acidity, this beauty will be even better
with 5-7 years of bottle age, and should last 30 or more years.” 96 Points
 2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“A fabulous buy, the 2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon offers abundant notes of
blueberries, cassis, violets, licorice, and incense. Sweet tannins, an opulent, rich, full-
bodied mouthfeel, and a velvety finish make this one of the most impressive 2006s I
tasted. It can be drunk now or over the next 15-20 years.” 93 Points

Smoke Signals Online
December 21, 2009
Wayne Crawford
“Even ‘Sideways’ Can't Keep a Good Merlot Down!”
“In the critically acclaimed 2004 California-based comedy ‘Sideways’ the red wine
Merlot is continuously denigrated in favor of Pinot Noir. Paul Giamatti plays the male
lead on a week-long road trip — ‘In search of wine. In search of women. In search of
themselves.’ — as he travels through Santa Ynez Valley wine country with his college
   As they quaff their way from winery to eatery, Giamatti laments Merlot as an ordinary
wine while extolling the virtues of Pinot Noir: ‘I like how wine continues to evolve, like
if I opened a bottle of wine today it would taste different than if I’d opened it on any
other day, because a bottle of wine is actually alive. And it’s constantly evolving and
gaining complexity.’
   Following the film’s public release Merlot sales dropped 2% in Western United States.
Today Merlot sales in the U. S. are double Pinot Noir sales. California Merlot
consumption in 2006 was 21.4 million cases.
A starter red?
Merlot, the leading grape in Bordeaux, is often viewed in the U. S. as an approachable
starter red wine with soft tannins — a red Chardonnay — when priced below $15.
   This does not begin to describe Merlot’s place as a great blending wine. In the hands of
a gifted winemaker, Merlot is an engaging, succulent wine with soft tannins. With its ripe
fruit and plumy flavors with greater viscosity than Cabernet Sauvignon, value as a
blending grape, Merlot is the leading French grape. Look for aromas of blueberry, cherry,
mint, plum, spice and black pepper in Merlot.
   In the new world Merlot, while blended with other reds, is often bottled as a 100%
varietal in California and Washington State.
   In California Duckhorn, Shafer, Pride, Paloma, Matanzas Creek, Chappellet Vineyard
& Winery and Barnard Griffin include Merlot in their offerings. Locally, BlackStock

Winery and Vineyard in Dahlonega produces Merlot.
   The challenge for Merlot lovers is finding a quality Merlot at a good price. Cheap
Merlots generally lack the velvet and soft character found in a higher priced bottling or in
the rarer QPR which seem to be harder to find. The less expensive Merlot’s seem rough
without structure, lack balance and taste of alcohol. Another source for good Merlot is
Chile, particularly the wine produced by Casa Lapostolle and Concho Y Toro.
   Pair Merlot with grilled or roasted beef, duck and chicken, full-flavored cheese, lamb
chops, meat loaf particularly gourmet meat loaf with spinach, pork loins and a good
steak. Roasted turkey and veal chops offer another pairing.

In a blind Merlot tasting at Big Canoe, we found two wines worth mentioning:”
 1999 Napa Valley Merlot
“Deep, ruby red color; plum, black cherry, and a hint of spice on the nose; concentrated
fruit with a lush mouth feel. Chappellet has been making great wines and its Signature
Cabernet Sauvignon wine was number six on Wine Spectator’s ‘Top 100 List for 2009.’”
December 11, 2009
Patrick Comiskey
“Old School Napa Cab”
“California Napa Valley Cabernet that hasn't lost its backbone is a rare treat wine lovers
        “Unless you’ve been drinking wine under a rock, you know that wine styles have
changed dramatically in the past decade, especially for full-bodied reds like Cabernet
Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Ripeness is all; plush, abundant fruit is the norm now, at
levels of richness and concentration more typical of Port. Textures are fatter, chunkier
and more buxom across the board; and tannin, once the sturdy trunk of great Napa Cab,
has softened into a pliant, bendy stripling.
        So it is a relief to find a few Napa Cabernet producers who have, by and large,
resisted the ‘call to plumpness.’ These stalwart brands craft wines that adhere to a
winemaking tradition established 15 or 20 years ago, before a certain critic exerted his
influence on style.
        These are powerful Cabernets, driven less by fruit than by structure. Their grippy
tannins, augmented by long contact with oak barrels, give the wines both flavor and
structure. There's not much give, but I think these winemakers would say that’s not the
point. Cab means power to these brands, and oak contributes to it.”
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Intensely concentrated at the outset, this dark cab smells like ink and cassis fruit laced
with minerals, with notes of tree bark and redwood frond. Its flavors are equally
concentrated, with notes of cassis and black plum, the oak expressing itself with a dark
olivey char. The drive of the wine comes from that oak treatment, which packs the wine’s
finish with firm tannin.”

Colorado Springs Gazette
December 7, 2009
Rich Mauro
“The Gift of Wine Can Spark Delight”

“Serious wine drinkers really appreciate it if someone cares enough to give the best. Here
is a shopping list of the best California wines I have tasted this year but not yet
Cabernet Sauvignon
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
2006 Napa Valley Merlot

Aspen Daily News
December 4, 2009
Drew Stofflet
“Chappellet Winery: Family Owned in Napa”
         “Donn and Molly Chappellet began farming the Pritchard Hill Vineyard in 1967,
making it the second oldest family owned winery in Napa Valley. At 1,200 feet above sea
level, they were the first in California to produce what is known as ‘mountain fruit.’ The
rocky soil, wind, sun and large, daily temperature swings help produce fruit that is more
complex and wines that balance intensity, richness and a full-body with supple structure
and finesse. Today the winery is still family owned and operated, going against the trend
of corporate mergers or consolidations. The wines have a tradition and a following, with
many great vintages finding their way into collector’s cellars, and selling for far less than
many of today’s ‘cult’ collectibles coming from Napa.

        Chappellet is most widely known for their distinctive cabernet sauvignon,
chardonnay and merlot, but the winery also produces some of the only serious chenin
blanc in Napa and has done really nice things with the Italian varietal, sangiovese.
Zinfandel, the grape that California can truly call it’s own ‘noble’ variety, and syrah,
have found their way into the Chappellet portfolio as well.

         Let’s look a little more closely at some of these wines. Zinfandel was brought to
California by immigrants from Eastern Europe around 1850, and planted widely in the
state. Its rich, robust flavors and its ability to grow well in California’s climate gave it
‘noble’ status and a lasting hold in the state’s viticultural tradition. Chappellet sources
their Zinfandel not from Pritchard Hill, but rather from the St. Helena and Rutherford
areas. The result is a wine full of berry flavors, thorny and wild, with pepper spices and
mocha notes to finish.

        Napa wine makers have a long tradition of creating Bordeaux-style blends with
their cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc. Chappellet releases two such blends.
The first is their ‘Mountain Cuvee,’ a blend of cabernet, merlot and petit verdot. The
wine is soft but with a firm grip of tannins on the edge. Cherries and darker plum fruits
flavor the palate. The petit verdot gives a minty, aromatic finish to this very drinkable
wine. The 2005 feels as if it has been in the bottle for five years or more. Adding two
more Bordeaux grapes to the mix, malbec and cabernet franc, gives us the release ‘Las
Piedras.’ The term means ‘rocks’ in Spanish and refers to the rugged soil in which the
vines grow on Pritchard Hill.

       ‘Las Piedras’ is more complex than the ‘Mountain Cuvee’ and features spices
such as cinnamon, clove and tobacco that compliment the intense chocolate and coffee
notes of the wine. Mountain fruit from Napa has always had this current of complexity.

Whereas cabernet from the valley floor is known to be rich and opulent, it tends to be ripe
and round without the minerality from the rocky soils up high, or the exotic spiciness.
Mountain fruit tends to age longer and show its secrets as it matures in the bottle.

        Finally, for fans of chenin blanc (like me), the winery focuses on four classic
styles: dry and unoaked; old-vine, barrel-fermented; demi-sec (a sweet wine affected with
botrytis, a mold that enhances sweet wines); and ‘Moelleux,’ a sweet wine that is made in
only the best vintages.

        The Chappellet family has stayed true to the land and their original vision of
producing the highest quality wines from one of the most storied appellations in North
America. They have resisted going the way of many, modernizing, merging or even
selling out. They have outlasted their oldest peers, including Robert Mondavi, who had
the only older family-owned winery when they began their production in the ‘60s. Today,
their wines still represent family, commitment to the highest quality and a celebration of
all things good in a crystal glass. Cheers!”

Reno Gazette Journal
December 2, 2009
Mark Janes
“Best Winery for Robert Parker Fans”
“Chappellet Vineyard & Winery: Here the wines are very dark in color, very big and
outgoing with their fruit profiles, and very firm and full in the mouth. They are quite
outstanding for their style.”

December 2009
Rob Costantino
“Napa’s Family”
“Many prominent Napa Valley family-owned wineries have survived economic
downturns, poor harvests, unanticipated business trends, and attractive buyout offers.
Here are some of the long-term successful family enterprises, listed by the year they were
Chappellet Vineyard & Winery - 1967

Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wines
December 2009
Charles Olken
2007 Mountain Cuvee
“As much as we like Chappellet's front-line offerings, this somewhat under-played wine
offers little of interest. It is clean, lightly tannic and firmed by fairly obvious acids, but its
marked lack of real fruity substance and depth makes it no more than a participant in the
Cabernet sweepstakes.” 85 Points

San Francisco Chronicle
December 2009

Jon Bonné
“Top 100 Wines 2009”
“It's not hard to find spectacular Cabernet north of $100, but finding one under $50 is
more of a challenge. Yet they're out there - from Washington, Sonoma, Paso Robles,
even Napa Valley. This year's list leans more toward up-front drinkability, which means
less wood and power-slugger fruit. That isn't to say you should overlook the rise of great
Cabernet Franc, which is finally finding a worthy fan base on these shores.”
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
”Chappellet's trademark effort, made by Phillip Corallo-Titus, shows the great potential
of Pritchard Hill fruit. Up-front and generous, with oak-tinged plum, dried tobacco and
subtle char notes. Plenty of backbone to its well-robed structure.”

Wine Enthusiast
December 2009
“Top 100 Cellar Selections 2009”
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon - #29
“Feels instantly special in the mouth, with beautiful tannins that are soft and ripe but
complex at the same time. They frame deep flavors of blackberries, currants, tobacco,
dark chocolate, violets, anise and cedar, firmed with minerals.” 94 Points

November 30, 2009
Matt Maudlin
“Chappellet Wine Makes a Great Holiday Gift”
“Not only is Chappellet wine something that your recipients will enjoy; it speaks to the
gift giver’'s sense of style and taste, making it a great gift for the holidays. Chappellet
was founded in 1967 by Donn Chappellet, a former food services executive who moved
his family from Beverly Hills to the Napa Valley to explore his passion for fine wine. He
chose a magical spot east of St. Helena called Pritchard Hill to plant the vineyards and
build the winery. The well-draining mountainous terrain, bright sunshine, and cool nights
of Pritchard Hill make this an ideal spot for the production of Bordeaux varietals like
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc; and the Chappellet’s have been making
some of Napa Valley’s finest wines in this location ever since.
        You don’t have to break the bank to give a bottle of Chappellet. Their entry-level
wines are fantastic and reasonably priced at around $30. The 2007 Napa Valley
Chardonnay is a leaner Burgundian-style Chardonnay made from grapes grown in the
cooler Southern areas of Napa Valley. It recently scored a “91” in Wine Spectator. The
2006 Napa Valley Merlot is full-bodied and elegant with luscious dark fruit notes. The
2007 Mountain Cuvee is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite
Verdot, and Malbec. It has tons of depth and ripe tannins, but is very approachable and
drinkable now. These are serious wines that can be enjoyed by casual wine drinkers or by
wine connoisseurs
        Chappellet’s 2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon was recently named Wine
Spectator’s #6 Wine of the Year and is rated “94”, and is an exceptional value at around
$42. It’s going to be tough to find the 2006 vintage at this point but you can look for the
recently released 2007 of this perennial favorite. The 2006 Pritchard Hill Estate
Cabernet Sauvignon is a great gift for that special wine lover in your life. It’s great for
collectors to cellar for the years ahead, retailing for around $120. It recently was rated
“96” by Wine Spectator.

        Chappellet wines aren’t available in every store, but you can find them in many
fine wine shops around Atlanta. The Chardonnay is currently available at Smyrna World
of Beverages in Smyrna. The Merlot is currently available at Total Wine in Alpharetta, or
at Ansley Wine Merchants in Atlanta; as is the Mountain Cuvee. Look for the 2007
Signature Cabernet and the Pritchard Hill Estate Cabernet at Total Wine in Alpharetta.
Your favorite wine store will also know where to order Chappellet from, so don’t be
afraid to ask if you don't see it. Happy hunting!”

November 19, 2009
Mary Gorman
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine News
Fall 2009
 2006 Napa Valley Merlot
“Dense crimson hue. Powerful scents of black cherry, vanilla and mocha. Velvety tannins
and ripe flavors of blackberry and blueberry. Maple and vanilla accent the blackberry-
themed close.” 91 Points
 2007 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“Bright yellow hue. Pretty nose of toasted oak, grapefruit and mineral. Silky mouth-feel
with flavors of buttery apple accented by mineral and backed by generous citrus. Spicy
pepper and clove accent the close.” 89 Points

St. Helena Star
November 12, 2009
Stefan Blicker
“Wine of the Week”
2007 Mountain Cuvee
“A whopper of a bargain, from the ripe, round and riveting 2007 vintage, is the
Chappellet Vineyard & Winery Mountain Cuvee. Mostly cabernet and merlot, this is
blended as an ‘early drinker’ by the winery. I’m told that in 2007, they made less of the
signature cabernet ($45-plus) so a fair amount of the extra good juice was put into the
Mountain Cuvee. Good news for us! This is ridiculously easy to drink and reminds me of
a chocolate-covered cherry. Plenty of sweet fruit and cocoa, with a soft texture and nice
balance. Around town for a modest $25, a great price for Napa cabernet!”

Westchester Magazine
November 2009
Lindsay Robbins
“Where to Un-Cork”
“Wine shop owners divulge their favorite BYOB”
Signature Cabernet Sauvignon (NV)
Selected by Dodd Farber of Dodd’s Liquor City - taken to Buon Gusto Restaurant
“A full-bodied, dry red wine complemented by the veal chop.”

Wine Talk by Robert Whitley

October 30, 2009
Robert Whitley
2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“I confess I've always had a fondness for the cabernet sauvignon from Chappellet, though
it is hardly the flashiest red in the valley when young. This is a more subdued, earthy
Napa cabernet than most, reminding me of my earliest experiences tasting Bordeaux of
the Graves district. These wines are kind, sleek and together, and never fully expressing
their underlying complexity and depth until the years −− 10, 12, 15 −− have passed. You
can be patient with this superb 2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon, which expresses
itself with a rich cassis and blackberry nose, something that just cries out cabernet. It's
full−bodied and slightly sweet (or I no doubt would have inched the score higher), with
well−measured wood notes and a hint of spice. If you should open this wine in its youth,
do yourself a favor and serve it with a thick, juicy steak.” 90 Points

October 26, 2009
Paul Franson
“New Book On Caves”
“Molly Chappellet and Daniel D’Agostini have a new book, Into the Earth: A Wine Cave
Renaissance. The foreword is by Hugh Johnson. Into the Earth is a pictorial and written
tale about wine caves. It contains images of never-before-photographed caves and insight
from respected cave designers, architects, engineers, drillers and winery proprietors.”

October 26, 2009
Paul Franson
“Napa Valley Vintners Educate Wine Experts”
“Last week, the Napa Valley Vintners hosted a group of about 35 senior wine students
from around the world to learn more about Napa Valley and its wines. The students, most
candidates for Master of Wine or Master Sommelier certification, spend three intense
days in learning what makes Napa wines special. I was fortunate to moderate a session
where two generations of Napa vintners talked about their past and present and
speculated on the future.
Beth and her mother Mary Novak, Cyril and his mother Molly Chappellet, and Bob
Trinchero and his nephew Bob Torres.”

Cape Gazette
October 19, 2009
John McDonald
“Cab Guzzlers, Collectors Salivate at Names Colgin, Byrant”
“Every Cab guzzler and collector salivates at the names Colgin…but somehow
Chappellet at $140 a bottle is on the back burner by comparison to the next-door
neighbors. Why does the vaunted Chappellet Pritchard Hill, 96 points, sell at 60-plus
percent discount to the others?

Your best move is to buy a bunch of Chappellet 2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon, 94
points, under $40 a bottle. It is a benchmark for the rocky hillside wines of the Napa
Valley. Dark purple, garnet colored, pronounced cherry aromas with oak-driven vanilla
lead to plums, cocoa, coffee, anise, wild berry and herbal flavors. Proper acid balances

the fruit, and the tannins are pronounced indicating a need for cellaring. Drink between
2011 and 2020. Buy all you can get your hands on before it doubles.”

Wine Spectator
October 19, 2009
James Laube
“2006 Cabernet, Winemakers Strike Gold with this Newly Released Vintage.”
“California is in the midst of a strong run of Cabernet vintages. The wines from 2006-the
most recent vintage to be released-mark the third excellent year in a row, and the 2007s,
though a year from coming to market, may be the best of the lot. Call it a Cabernet
bonanza, with a variety of styles on offer, extending from sleek and elegant to bold and

…It was a banner year for esteemed producers such as…and Chappellet all of which all
made wines that rated 95 points or higher.”
2006 Pritchard Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (96 points)
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon (94 points)
2006 Mountain Cuvee (88 points), which was listed as a “top value.”

Wine Spectator
October 19, 2009
James Laube
“1999 California Cabernet Has Aged Well in its First Decade”
“The 1999 California Cabernet vintage was a great success when it was released,
delivering many of the decade’s best wines. Now 10 years old, the top Cabernets of that
harvest have, for the most part, aged the way wine lovers who cellared them hoped they
would; time has worked to their advantage.

… Two of the wines, both from Napa, were standouts in the tasting, earning classic 95-
point ratings. The 1999 Chappellet and 1999 Altamura displayed wonderful complexity
and concentration and a vibrancy that bodes well for further cellaring.

Chappellet, grown on Pritchard Hill east of St. Helena, is the more familiar name, with a
track record of quality Cabernets dating back to the 1960s.”
1999 Pritchard Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
“Still a big, ripe, chunky, expressive style, matching power with restraint.” 95 Points

The Press Democrat
October 14, 2009
Peg Melnik
“Wine of the Week: Scouting for the Tastiest Cabernet Sauvignons”
 “Wine writer Peg Melnik had a blind tasting this week of cabernet sauvignons, running
the gaumut in price from $15 to $55.”
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“A complex, focused cabernet sauvignon. Aromas and flavors of blackberry, black
cherry, herbs and spice. Ripe tannins. Great structure.” 4.5 Stars out of 5 - Highly

Florida Today
October 8, 2009
Tim Dwight
“Napa Journey Comes to an End”
“…Thus concluded our invitation to visit Chappellet Winery, the last stop on our tour of
the Napa Valley…

‘The Signature Cab, our mainstay red, is made up of 76 percent cabernet sauvignon, 18
percent merlot and lesser parts of petit verdot and cab franc,’ our host said as we started
our ’06 releases set on the table in front of us. ‘It recently scored 94 points in the Wine
Spectator, and Donn made a tough decision to actually lower the price from previous
years (down to about $43). He’s sensitive to what’s going on out there in the economy.’

My traveling companion and I also enjoyed other wines from the collection, and then
finished with a flourish.

‘This is our pinnacle bottling, the 2006 Pritchard Hill Cabernet. It comes from our finest
vines, the nastiest, toughest ones that give up stingy yields,’ Santos said. ‘But see what
you think about the juice in the bottle.’

Not inexpensive at $140 a pop, but hard to argue with the 96-point score awarded in the
Spectator. And definitely a fitting wine to wrap up our magical trip to the Napa Valley.”

New Jersey Beverage Journal
October 1, 2009
Ed McCarthy
“California’s Crown Jewel”
“I am convinced that Cabernet Sauvignons and Cabernet blends are California’s best
wines…” McCarthy recommends the Signature Cabernet Sauvignon as part of the
selected $160 to $400 (per 12 bottle case) list.

Wine Business Monthly
October 1, 2009
John Corcoran
“Hosted Customer Relationship Management Software Solutions”
“Chappellet Winery general manager Steve Tamburelli describes why he adopted this
specific CRM software: ‘Our motivation in implementing TheWineryCRM through
Elypsis and Webfortis was to have a fully integrated solution that would allow us to
market more effectively to both our trade customers and our winery direct customers. I
want all of our customer-facing staff to be fully vested in each customer experience and
history, with us. Sales and profile/preference is mined to allow us to present timely and
relevant information to each segment of our customer base. This tool allows us to market
our wines in a more personal and effective way.’”

San Francisco Chronicle
September 25, 2009
Lynne Char Bennett
“Napa Valley and Sonoma Merlot”
“Merlot has gone from a popular, soft, fruity, easy-to-drink wine to an oakier style, which

we found during the Chronicle’s 2007 look at Napa Merlots from the 2003 and 2004
vintage. Merlot, though fairly easy to ripen, has a greater tendency towards green aromas
and flavors when not fully ripened. It seems the pendulum has swung back a bit. The
Napa and Sonoma Merlots we tasted have generally found a midpoint. Although there are
many bottlings priced at more than $40-especially from the better known producers-our
tasting unearthed attractive offerings at more modest prices.”
2006 Napa Valley Merlot
“Winemaker Phillip Corallo-Titus has produced this bottling with fruit from Chappellet’s
well-known Pritchard Hill vineyard. The lively red and black cherry nose offers hints of
menthol, layered with subtle spice; similar flavors tending to darker fruit wrapped in oak
spice. Good balance with slightly firmer structure.”
September 16, 2009
Jen Beasly
“Kensington Man sets up wine, nonprofit co-op”
“A Kensington town councilman has launched an online wine marketplace that will give
50 percent of its proceeds to partner charities, urging patrons to ‘Drink Charitably.’

But Mackie Barch's Vintners Charitable Cooperative won't be filling goblets or coffers of
Marylanders any time soon. Direct delivery of wine from vintner to consumer, the system
upon which the company is based, is illegal in this and 12 other states, so the Web-only
storefront will be restricted to the places its goods can be legally delivered.

The Vintners Charitable Cooperative works by partnering with small boutique wineries to
create a wine club through the site. Charities then encourage their patrons to join the wine
club, allowing them to buy the wines featured in the VCC. The VCC, in turn, gives 50
percent of the net profit from that wine purchased by club members to the partner charity.

The VCC currently has three vineyard partners—Chappellet, Dovetail, and D'Argenzio—
and one charity partner, Reach Out and Read, a national nonprofit that distributes books
to doctors in all 50 states to give to pediatric patients at wellness checks. Supporters of
Reach Out and Read join the charity's wine club through the VCC and buy wines from
the participating vineyards, which sends 50 percent of the proceeds to the charity.
Eventually, Barch said, he wants to have hundreds of charity partners.

‘I think it's a great way for vintners to support a good organization like ours and we think
our donors will like it,’" said Mary Doorley, director of development for Reach Out and
Read. ‘And with the holidays coming up we thought it would be a good time. We think it
would be a great gift for the holidays.’

Steve Tamburelli, general manager of Chappellet, said the winery is happy to participate
too. The vineyard will offer a 2007 Mountain Cuvee and a 2007 Chardonnay through the

‘It allows us to expose our wines to a client that may not be exposed without this, and at
the same time it's for a good cause,’ Tamburelli said. ‘We don't have a real public face in
wine, we're way up in the hills.’

Tamburelli said the VCC offers a new foothold for the Napa vineyard in ‘one of the most
crowded industries in the world.’”

Nebraska Beverage Analyst
September1, 2009
Author Unknown
2006 Mountain Cuvee
“This is the wine you chose when you are looking for vivid, mouth-filling fruit flavors.
The Mountain Cuvee is a winemaker’s blend that beautifully expresses the distinctive
qualities of the traditional Bordeaux varietals, and is crafted for early consumption. Each
component making up the cuvee contributes nuances that mingle with and complement
each other. The result is a complex array of aromas and flavors that deliver pure pleasure
in a glass. Crafted around a core of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, the 2006 Mountain
Cuvee begins with sweet and vibrant red cherry aromas, alongside notes of rhubarb,
lavender, earth and spice. Rich, mouth-filling and backed by well-balanced tannins, it
offers a pleasing array of ripe red and black fruit flavors highlighting cherry and plum

Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wines
September 2009
Charles Olken
2006 Napa Valley Merlot
“This very solid Merlot has an extra edge of structure probably owing as much to its
hillside site as to its small addition of other varieties, and while its flavors are all Merlot
red cherry, it does get a bit tough in the late going. Time is on its side, however, and with
the proven track record of Chappellet reds, no one should have any reluctance to let it rest
for three to five years in the cellar.” 90 Points

Wine Enthusiast
September 2009
Steve Heimoff
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Feels instantly special in the mouth, with beautiful tannins that are soft and ripe but
complex at the same time. They frame deep flavors of blackberries, currants, tobacco,
dark chocolate, violets, anise and cedar, firmed with minerals.” 94 Points - Cellar
2007 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“Tasted in the Spring of 2009, this Chard was immature, marked by fresh fruit acidity
and flavors, as well as unintegrated oak. But it's quite good, and just needs time to allow
the grilled pineapple, crème brûlée and buttered toast flavors to come together with the
alcohol.” 92 Points

September 2009
Linda Murphy
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Cassis dominates the nose and entry of this smooth, supple wine. Violets, sage, earth
and minerals unfold; pleasantly dusty tannins, gentle vanillin oak and refreshing acidity
complete the package.” 4 Stars (out of 5)

C Magazine
September 2009
Kelsey McKinnon
“King Cabs”
“In a region where Cabernet is King, here are Napa Valley's best bottles of the season:”
2006 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
 “Setting the standard in Napa hillside Cabernet, only the best blocks of Donn
Chappellet's Pritchard Hill estate were used for their 2006 Estate Cabernet.”

The Detroit News
August 31, 2009
Sandra Silfven
“Today’s Recommended Wine”
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“This Cab is a dream in the reach of experienced wine lovers. A dream that those just
tiptoeing into wine may find delicious, too. Chappellet's Pritchard Hill Vineyard in Napa
Valley is 1,200 feet above the valley floor, which means the vines produce fewer clusters
but the grapes are super-intense in flavor. This is Cabernet Sauvignon you can chew like
a great steak. It's a bomb filled with cola, blackberries, milk chocolate and plums. It
explodes on the nose with a blast of berry aromas -- everything from currants to
blackberries to raspberries. The palate is big and rich, but not heavy or oaky. The
fabulous wood from the barrels flows seamlessly through the flavors. It's delish! Pour it
with lamb chops, any beefsteak or a creamy, blue-veined cheese. It's a fat wine that calls
for ‘fat’ food. You must see the story of Chappellet and watch the gallery of pictures.”

The Washington Post
August 19, 2009
Dave McIntyre
“Glass Acts”
“California also scored for value with the white wines. Our top finisher -- by a hair -- was
the Chappellet 2007 Napa Valley Chardonnay, a [$32] charmer that fooled the judges
into thinking it was French. Only Vanessa Moore, owner of Unwined retail store in
Alexandria, identified it as a Napa wine. (Wine Spectator magazine loved it, too, rating it
91 points, about what our judges gave it.)”

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
August 13, 2009
Bob Hosmon
“Wine Of The Week”
2006 Napa Valley Merlot
“Attention lovers of well-made merlot. The 2006 Napa Valley Merlot, with its vibrant
fruit and complex structure, is one of the best.
Serve with: Pair this red with meat loaf, Italian sausages, beef or lamb stew or smoked
Linda Murphy
August 11, 2009

“2006 California Cabernets”
 “The 2006 Cab vintage followed the relatively cool, extended 2005 season, which
produced high yields and, for the most part, wines slightly lower in alcohol and fruit
ripeness, and with higher acidities, than in 2004 and 2006.

The 2006 growing season started out on a similar path as 2005, with an
uncharacteristically wet, chilly spring that delayed budbreak by two to three weeks. Then
it got hot … very hot … in July, with more than a week of 100-degree F spikes to which
Californians are so accustomed. Yet the heat came before veraison, did little if any
damage, and gave vines a chance to catch up from the cold spring. Relatively moderate
(for California) temperatures followed through mid-November, and even the growers at
high elevations harvested their grapes when they wanted to, and not when heat spikes or
fall rains forced them to.

From the major Cabernet Sauvignon-producing regions of California - Napa, Sonoma,
Santa Cruz Mountains and Paso Robles - the 2006 wines are powerful, dense and
substantially tannic, yet most I've tasted from the first releases are balanced. True, there
are many 15% alcohol wines from 2006, yet I've found only a few that tasted ‘hot.’ The
majority are ripe and concentrated, yet without a burn at the back of the throat.

A handful of vintners have dropped their Cabernet Sauvignon retail prices a bit in
response to economy-driven sales slowdowns of high-end wines. Most have maintained
retail pricing from 2005 to 2006, although many a back-room deal is being done on the
wholesale and restaurant side. Keep an eye out for discounted 2005 California Cabernets
that are being sold to make room for the 2006s. For those who like their Cabs a bit tamer
and more elegant than the California norm, 2005 is the year to seek out.”
 2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Cassis dominates the nose and entry of this supple, beautifully integrated wine. Violets,
sage, earth and minerals on the mid-palate; pleasantly dusty tannins, gentle cocoa and
vanillin oak, and refreshing acidity. No heat despite 14.9% alcohol on the label.”
18 out of 20 points

Wine Spectator
August 10, 2009
Tim Fish
“12 California Merlots”
“Merlot remains a best seller even though it isn't easy to make great Merlot in California,
but as this week's group of new releases demonstrates, some wineries just have a knack
for it. Excellence, however, comes at a price – most of these wines are $30 or higher.”
2006 Napa Valley Merlot
“Supple yet complex, with red currant, cedar and spicy-mocha aromas and rich black
cherry and bell pepper flavors that linger with soft tannins.” 90 Points

Wine Spectator Insider
August 5, 2009
James Laube
2006 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
“Firm and concentrated, with taut, vibrant mineral, blackberry, wild berry and black
cherry fruit that gives this a rich core of flavors. Deep and concentrated, ending with a

long, persistent finish.” 96 Points

The Tasting Panel
August 2009
Anthony Dias Blue
“Napa Gold”
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Edgy, long and silky with lovely balance and finesse.” 90 Points

Dallas Modern Luxury
August 2009
Bob Ecker
“Cellar’s Market”
Michael Chiarello - Celebrity Chef, TV Personality, vintner
2006 Mountain Cuvee
“Seriously, this wine is beautiful.”

Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wines
August 2009
Charles Olken
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“A frequent favorite in these pages, this bottling comes close to the top in this vintage but
ultimately falters at the back. It starts, however with aromas that are deep, rich, somewhat
juicy and suggest a bit of excess without actually going over the line. And while its
ripeness is also evident on the palate, it also finds the abrupt finish of the vintage and
misses out on higher ratings.” 88 Points

Houston Chronicle
July 15, 2009
Dale Robertson
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
25.9 Points (Out of 30): 8.9 for quality, 8 for value, for 9 availability
Data: “Longtime winemaker Philip Corallo-Titus’ Pritchard Hill blend is 76 percent cab
and 18 percent merlot, with a little malbec and petit verdot in the mix too.” Alcohol: 14.9
My take: “A big, bold, very seductive wine and a pretty reasonable price”
My quality score: 8.9 (Out of 10)
Taster’s comment: “Layers of black fruit and spice.”

Sherman’s Travel
July 2009
Ted Loos
“Which Napa Wines to Buy Now”
“With vineyard land in Napa growing ever more scarce and expensive, vintners are
increasingly specializing in Cabernet Sauvignon, the grape best suited to the valley and
the one with an exceptional track record. For most wineries, their Cab defines them – but
not all Cabs are created equal. Luckily, in Napa this big red is made well at every price
point; you just have to know where to look. The following bottles have national
distributions, so you can find them back home, too.”

“Over $40”
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Chappellet isn’t as well known as some Napa wineries, especially on the East Coast.
But this family-owned operation should be at the forefront of any Cab lover’s mind.
Sweet fruit is the focus, with blackberry and plum tastes accented by dark chocolate.”

Wine Enthusiast
July 2009
Steve Heimoff
“California 128: 3 Days on Northern California’s Wine Road”
“To continue up Route 128 into the Vacas, be careful: the little highway makes a left turn
off the Silverado Trail that you’ll miss if you blink. Up in these rugged hills, with their
volcanic soils and dramatic view of Napa Valley, lies one of Napa’s most prestigious
winegrowing regions: Pritchard Hill, home to such wineries as Colgin and Chappellet.”

The Colorado Wine News
July 2009
Harold J. Baer
 2007 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“The 2007 Napa Valley Chardonnay was aged sur lie in French oak, one-third new.
Aromas of oak, cream, butter, pear, and sweet lemon peel repeat in the reverse order as
flavors led by added apple before a medium-broad, truncated finish with persistent light
oak. Well balanced, structured, and integrated. It will be popular.”
 2006 Napa Valley Merlot
“It opens with oak, blood and vanilla before flavors of blood, raspberry, and oak laced
with dry tannin. The long finish is narrow at the front and broad at the back and has
lingering oak.”
 2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“A nose of smoky oak over blackberry and black raspberry repeats as flavors with the
addition of lots of tooth coating, drying tannin before a medium-broad, medium-long
finish. If you like your Cabernet oaky, this is a good choice.”

Wine Review Online
June 16, 2009
Paul Lukacs
2007 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“A classy Chardonnay, showing secondary earthiness in addition to primary fruit, and
offering impressive depth, this wine seems to have the structure and stuffing for
cellaring. It's so tasty now, though, that I'm not sure I'd want to delay gratification.”
89 Points

A Matter of Taste
June 15, 2009
David & Rachel Cane
2006 Napa Valley Merlot
“The 2006 growing season provided a perfectly balanced, seductively warm, luscious
Merlot that has aromas of dark berry fruit that is married brilliantly with the sweet flavors
of ripe dark cherries, mocha and blackberries, accented by the perfect spicing of oak. The

wine is made by the talented winemaker Phillip Corallo-Titus. This sensual wine is an
ideal companion to roast chicken, beef kabobs, or a rosemary scented butterflied leg of
lamb. The depth of the wine allows for hedonistic drinking as an aperitif instead of the
usual choice of white wine.”

The Chronicle-Telegram (Elyria, Ohio)
June 12, 2009
Gary Twining
“Picks From The Cellar”
1986 Napa Valley Merlot
“Big and rich with dark fruit, still powerful and youthful but showing its maturity with
some bricking/browning in the color at the rim of the glass. It showed spice and plum
nuances with hints of oak.”

Wine Review Online
June 2, 2009
Michael Franz
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“A beautifully balanced, classically-structured Napa Cabernet, this offers lots of flavor
and versatility for its substantial but fair price. A fruit core of blackberries and black
cherries is accented with notes of cocoa powder, espresso beans and toast. Full-bodied
but not so dense as to come off as heavy, it shows nice tannic grip but no hardness or
astringency, making it very enjoyable now with decanting and food.” 91 Points

Wine Spectator
June 2009
Tim Fish
“Exploring Napa Valley”
“Touring At the Top – Wineries To Visit”
Chappellet Vineyard & Winery
“Perched high atop Pritchard Hill, Chappellet, founded in 1969, affords visitors the
stunning vista of Lake Hennessy and parts of the valley. Chappellet’s version of
hospitality is friendly and down-to-earth; for example, guests are lent a jacket to keep
them warm during private tastings in the cave. If the weather is nice, tours include a
short hike through the vineyards and, en route, an explanation of the winery’s
commitment to sustainable agriculture and solar power. The tasting includes about five
wines, including the iconic Pritchard Hill Cabernet blend and Signature Cabernet.
Indulge in the extended tour and lunch, because once you take in the view and the vibe,
you won’t want to leave.”

Have Wine Will Travel (Radio Show)
June 1, 2009
Doc Cummings
“This is a series of features with Cyril Chappellet. This winery has been one of Napa
Valley's best for many years. Going back to the late 70's, the wines have been crafted and
made with pride each vintage. This is a family winery located off the Silverado Trail.
Please call ahead for tasting, and after trying these wines you will want to join the wine
club, as they have some wines just available there.”

Connoisseur’s Guide To California Wines
June 2009
Charles Olken
2007 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“Rich, very well-defined, energetic young Chardonnay fruit takes control from the very
first sniff here and stays the course all the way through this concentrated, fairly full-
bodied wine's ample, long-lasting flavors. Deft oaky spice provides more richness yet,
and impeccable balance ensures that a good thing will get even better with time.”
91 Points

Annapolis Capital
May 27, 2009
Tom Marquardt & Patrick Darr
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Sweet plum and berry flavors with firm tannins, good oak and hints of mocha. Blended
with merlot, malbec and petit verdot.”

St. Helena Star
May 21, 2009
Stefan Blicker
“Wine of the Week”
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“When you come back from a wine wasteland like Warwick, R.I., as I did a couple of
days ago, you RUSH to the cellar, yes you do. In fact, I ran to the store, because there’s
never anything in my house that lasts more than a day. I spied the 2006 Chappellet Cab
and was transported to cabernet heaven once again, secure that I would not be trapped in
a world of Bud Light forever.

This wine really is just a whopping mouthful of cabernet…everything you want is here
and it is surprisingly affordable considering its depth, richness, intensity and fat, happy
personality. On the nose it screams spicy, oaky cassis and cocoa dust, and in your mouth
it is loaded with glycerin and even more black and blue fruits and great structure.
Immensely enjoyable and highly recommended!”

Novus Vinum/
May 13, 2009
“Top Ten Wines for Father’s Day”
“Indulge your dad’s inner wine-lover this Father’s Day by presenting him with one of the
following selections:”
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon

May 7, 2009
Peter Gianotti
“Toast Mom”
“So, you may be headed for a restaurant. Or doing the cooking. Maybe it’s celebratory
takeout. But Mom deserves a toast. Here are some recommendations:”
“West Coast Mom”
“The meticulous, fruity and floral 2006 Napa Valley Chardonnay.”

Wine Review Online
May 5, 2009
Gerald D. Boyd
2006 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
“The Chappellet family believes their Pritchard Hill Estate vineyard represents the best
that the hillside vineyard has to offer. A limited production wine, Pritchard Hill Cabernet
is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec, aged for 22 months
in 80% new French oak and an additional six months in bottle before release. It has a
very deep ruby color with a black core, roasted coffee and dark plum aromas, forward
bright fruit flavors, refined long-chain tannins, good length and structure. Finished at
14.9% alcohol, this is a big concentrated mouthful of wine with just a hint of alcohol in
the finish. Give it more time.” 92 Points

Wines & Vines
May 2009
Jane Firstenfeld
“Added Value for Tasting Rooms”
“Now that winery visitors may legally purchase and consume wines on winery picnic
grounds in California, we expect to see more outdoor activities throughout the state.
Napa's Chappellet Winery, which produces about 30,000 cases per year and sells about
23% direct-to-consumer, is piling value upon value at its St. Helena property.

Its standard $25 program offers a 90-minute tour and tasting, and has been, says general
manager Steve Tamburelli, ‘the single most important initiative in driving consumer-
direct sales. We focus wholly on experience, and know that it will be the experience we
deliver that will make them customers for life.’

Chappellet decided recently to capitalize even more on its spectacular location by adding
a ‘Pinzgauer tour’ of the property. Guests board the Pinzgauer (an Austrian army all-
terrain vehicle) for a two-hour ‘über experience’ that terminates atop Pritchard Hill,
overlooking the valley. ‘There is no more stunning place,’ Tamburelli says. ‘It creates
lifelong memories.’ The $75 tab includes lunch and wine.
Be authentic
‘I think each winery needs to be true to itself in defining its consumer experience,’
Tamburelli says. ‘Use your assets and show your customers what you want to be known
for. If you do this and it makes sense to the consumer, you'll be successful.’”

Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
May/June 2009
Stephen Tanzer
“Focus On California’s North Coast”
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Full ruby-red. Aromas of currant, tobacco, graphite and crushed rock. Sweet, plush and
nicely deep, with a silky texture to the flavors of plum, currant and spicecake. Quite
sweet, even a bit exotic, for this bottling. Finishes with substantial broad, dusty tannins
and plenty of spicy, chocolatey oak.” 89 Points

The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, CA)

April 29, 2009
Peg Melnik
“Wine Of The Week”
“Wine writer Peg Melnik has a blind tasting this week of moderate to high-priced
Chardonnays. There were several tasty 4-star rated wines…”
2007 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“An elegant chardonnay that has great focus. Creamy, with notes of apple, lemon curd
and mineral. Very complex.” 4 Stars – Highly Recommended

(Appeared in the July 2009 issue and in the June issue of Wine Spectator Advance)
April 27, 2009
James Laube
“Tasting Highlights: California Cabernet”
“Our most recent tour of Napa Cabernet was extraordinary for both the range and the
diversity of wines, styles and vintages, but also for the prices…”
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Assertive herb, anise, blackberry and wild berry fruit is tight, firm, tannic and well-
structured, picking up depth and length on the finish.” 94 Points

The News-Star (Monroe, LA)
April 1, 2009
Patrick Gerl
“Try Some Lesser Known Wines from the Napa Area”
“…The other is Pritchard Hill. There are just a few wineries in the area but they all make
top quality wines. Expect to pay more than $500 a bottle for some of the top offerings of
Pritchard Hill wineries – if you can get them. Chappellet Vineyard & Winery has kept its
offerings obtainable and affordable.”
2005 Mountain Cuvee
“A nice wine to experience is the 2006 Mountain Cuvee. This wine is a classic Bordeaux
blend. Consisting of 51 percent cabernet sauvignon, 40 percent merlot, 7 percent malbec,
1 percent cabernet franc and 1 perfect petit verdot.

Earth tones fade quickly to reveal sweet cherry and a bitter impression – not quite
currant, not quite cranberry but like a combination of the two. You will experience
blackberry, vanilla, wood, plum, and oregano if you allow the wine time to settle a little.
The wine has a long and pleasant finish.

This is a very food friendly wine. You don’t want to get fancy with the food. This wine
will make any meal shine. Try a grilled T-bone or strip steak. Buffalo or venison steak
will also go very well.”

Vineyard & Winery Management
April 2009
Laura Ness
“Eco-Friendly Vineyard Vehicles”
“The electric tractor is a great idea that makes a lot of sense – at least to green-minded
people like Jon-Mark Chappellet of Chappellet Winery, who recently completed a
conversion of a 1948 Allis Chalmers G to battery power. ‘Electric tractors made sense to

me because batteries are heavy and are an asset instead of a liability on a tractor,’
Chappellet says. ‘You are usually close to home on a tractor so recharging is only a short
distance away.’
Chappellet found out about electric tractor conversions via Steve Heckeroth… ‘With a
few modifications, you can adapt this ‘recipe’ for your own circumstances,’ Chappellet
says. ‘Now that I’ve got it running, the next step is to add implements, like a hitch for a
trailer and hydraulics to raise and lower the work bar. My goal is to establish a local
workshop where people can convert gas-powered tractors to electric. I’d really like to
know if the big tractor manufacturers are considering electric tractors.’”

Wine Enthusiast
April 2009
David Rosengarten
2005 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
“I see the same thing happening widely today in California. And, intriguingly, I see lots
of California chefs keeping up with the winemakers by making a return to savory fare.
At Thomas Keller’s great Ad Hoc in Napa Valley, there’s one menu for the night – which
on my night, included a great lentil soup with bacon, and a roasted hunk of top-quality
beef with mushrooms and herbs. Hold the fruit, and the meal becomes sublime with a
gorgeous, just-rich enough 2005 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet

Solano Magazine
April 2009
Sara Hare
“Napa Valley”
“Hundred of wineries, several dozens of the nation’s best eateries, and breathtaking views
everywhere you look. There’s no shortage of places to explore, but where does one even
Chappellet Vineyard & Winery
“1,200 feet about the Napa Valley floor is Chappellet’s facilities (built in the same shape
as their logomark) and the Pritchard Hill estate vineyards. Chappellet is one of Napa’s
oldest wineries – the second established in Napa after Prohibition. Tours take you
directly into the vineyards and are kept to intimate get-to-know-you groups.”

Pittsburgh Magazine
April 2009
Bruce May
“Wine & Spirits”
“The first two vintages (1969 and 1970) of cabernet sauvignon wine from Chappellet
Vineyard & Winery were exceptional. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the wines again
matched their earlier success. But in the late-‘90s through the 2000 vintages, Chappellet
has made monumental cabernet sauvignon wines from Pritchard Hill. The 1997, 1999
and 2001 vintages were my favorites and some of the best wines from California, with
the 2004 and 2005 vintages of the same high quality.”
2006 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“Opens with layers of ripe-apple and pear aromas and flavors with just the right amount
of acidity for a balanced finish.”
2005 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

“A complex and refined wine with perfectly balanced cassis and black-cherry fruit
aromas and flavors with just the right amount of sweet oak and acidity for a smooth and
elegant finish.”
2004 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
“A beauty with its ripe-cassis fruit aromas and flavors and vanilla oak in the lush, fruit-
driven finish.”

SRQ: Sarasota’s Premier Magazine
April 2009
“Wines Like His”
“For tea, you go to England. For sake, you go to Japan. For Cabernet Sauvignon, you go
to Napa Valley. We’ve asked local merchants to share their recommendations for a wine
similar to that of [Alan] Roer’s memorable Cabernet experience. Not surprisingly, each
is from Napa.”
Chappellet 2004 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

The Times (Frankfort, IN)
March 19, 2009
Howard Hewitt
“Cabernet is the Wine That Gets Attention”
“Cabernet Sauvignon – even the name sounds royal. That’s appropriate for a wine often
thought of as the King of Red Grapes!… If you want to buy a really good Cabernet for a
special occasion, there are many really great Napa Cabs in the $40-$60 range. Joseph
Phelps, Cakebread Cellars, and Chappellet are three I have tasted and think are superb.
All three are found in better Indiana wine shops.”

(Also appeared in the June 2009 issue)
March 16, 2009
James Laube
“Tasting Highlights: 11 Extraordinary California Wines”
“Two Chardonnays lead this week’s California Tasting Highlights selections. Chappellet
and Mueller continue their winning ways with Chardonnay. Napa’s Chappellet winery
has been hot the past few vintages, and the 2007 Chardonnay is rich and layered.”
2007 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“Ripe layers of fig, green apple and pear are full-bodied yet elegant, gaining body and
richness and ending with a full-blown finish, shaded by nutmeg.” 91 Points

March 2009
Jordan MacKay
“Bottle Report: 3 To Drink Now”
2006 Mountain Cuvee
“Berries, coffee and earth speak out in this luscious Cab. Great with lamb.”

Charlotte Food & Wine
March 2009
Joe Barsin
“Cyril Does Lunch”

“Cyril Chappellet and his wife, Blakesly, came to town to present his family’s wonderful
wines recently – an occasion to be savored by any wine lover. Even better, he cooked up
lunch himself.”

The Jackson Times
February 28, 2009
Mountain Cuvee (no vintage listed)
“If I had to pick a favorite bottle of wine, I think this would be it. That’s a pretty bold
statement considering I have a new favorite just about every week, but I always come
back to this one. Chappellet describes their Mountain Cuvee as ‘pure pleasure in a glass’
and honestly, I could not put it any better.

Crafted around a core of cabernet sauvignon and merlot, the Mountain Cuvee begins with
vibrant plum, alongside notes of rhubarb, spice, clove and vanilla. The mouth is alive
with berries, cherries and spicy oak. Smooth and full, this approachable wine offers well-
balanced tannins and a long, lingering finish.”

Wine Spectator
February 2009
“A World Wide Search for Values”
“Recommended Values”
Chappellet Vineyard & Winery
“A Napa pioneer with roots in the 1960s, winemaker Phillip Corallo-Titus crafts striking
wines, led by outstanding Chardonnay and Merlot and a tightly structured Cabernet that
competes with higher-priced reserve versions.”

Financial Times (U.S. Edition)
February 15, 2009
Jancis Robinson
“Wine Women on Song”
“Carissa Chappellet had been brought up on Bordeaux first growths but her wine-loving
father had always made much of the legendary hauteur of those who produced them.
This trip shattered that myth for Carissa, who instead found their Bordeaux hosts
‘welcoming, generous with their time, open, warm and gracious.’ The rockiness of the
soils made a big impression on her too, as well as the ‘earthiness’ of the bouquets of these
wines that, while being made from the same grape varieties, tended to be distinctly less
alcoholic than those produced in the Napa Valley.”

Wine Advocate
December 31, 2008 – Issue #180
2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Revealing a deeper ruby/purple color as well as a classic bouquet of blueberries, creme
de cassis, spring flowers, and background earth, the medium to full-bodied, moderately
tannic 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon can be drunk now or cellared for 12-15 years.”
90+ Points
 2006 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“The light straw-colored 2006 Chardonnay exhibits aromas of white peaches and tropical
fruits, medium body, and good acidity, but, like many 2006s, it tails off in the mouth.
Drink it over the next 1-2 years.” 85 Points

 2005 Napa Valley Merlot
“The 2005 Merlot reveals a deep ruby color as well as a sweet nose of jammy black
cherries and wood smoke, medium body, and a soft, flavorful, straightforward style. It is
best consumed over the next 3-4 years.” 89 Points

St. Helena Star
December 26, 2008
“Napa Valley Stars of 2008”
2007 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“In the past year, the St. Helena Star/Napa Valley Vintner’s panel of wine tasters has
recommended a lot of Napa Valley wines.”

Annapolis Capital
December 3, 2008
Tom Marquardt and Patrick Darr
“Chappellet is one of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley, producing respectable wines
since 1967. Its vineyards are located high on the eastern slope of the Napa Valley, which
the legendary consultant André Tchelistcheff recommended. Although hillside wineries
are somewhat common in Napa Valley today, Chappellet was the first to take
Tchelistcheff's bold but ultimately wise advice. We are new to Chappellet's wine but
recently we tasted two that we felt were noteworthy:”
2006 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“A wonderfully expressive nose of lemons, peaches and melons. Delicious in the mouth
with a great fruit presence of citrus and ripe tropical fruit, and a nice creamy finish.”
2005 Napa Valley Merlot
“Intense nose and flavors in this very well crafted Merlot. Nice ripe cherry fruit with
cherry flavors in the mouth with hints of smoke. A very nice well-balanced wine.”

Food & Wine
December 2008
Ray Isle
“30 Classic New & Value Cabernets”
“New boutique wineries often generate the most buzz, but many of Napa Valley’s
benchmark names, such as Beringer, Chappellet and Spottswoode, are producing wines
that are just as good as the latest cult collectible (not to mention much easier to find).
This is typically because they either own or have long-term contracts with some of the
best vineyards in Napa – one benefit of having gotten into the game first – along with
some of the region’s top winemaking talent.”
2005 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
“Chappellet was the second Napa Valley winery established following Prohibition and
definitely the first on Pritchard Hill, now home to stars like the Colgin and Bryant
Family. This Cabernet’s currant and plum notes are focused by intense tannins and
smoky oak.”


December 2008

“Wines of the Year”
“From 3,000 wines tasted in 2008’s panel tasting, just 125 won a Decanter award. We
list them here:”
2004 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
“Spicy with dense blackcurrant fruit. Sweet and ripe. Densely fruity, packed with flavor.
Complex and interesting, not just another oak and fruit bomb. Long finish. Spicy
tobacco, grainy tannins.” 5 Stars: Outstanding!

Robb Report
December 2008
Brett Anderson
“From the Robb Cellar: Fine wines & spirits worthy of a place in your private
“With the growing popularity of wine collecting, copious wine clubs have cropped up to
cater to every oenophilic taste. Whether you have a passion for Priorat or a love of the
Loire, a wine club exists to keep your habit amply supplied with the latest releases. Yet
relatively few clubs offer members the opportunity to receive older vintages from top
producers. Pam and Bruce Boring had this goal in mind when they established the
California Wine Club Aged Cabernet Series, a new service of their existing club that
delivers superb vintages of Sonoma and Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons that have
been aged 10 to 15 years…. Included with each shipment of two different bottles
(available on a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly basis) are current tasting notes from the
winemaker on the vintage, as well as the original notes from the year of release. A recent
offering was comprised of the elegant Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
1995—a dark wine still redolent of wild berries and black cherry.”

Wine Spectator
November 30, 2008
Tim Fish
“Editors’ Pick”
2005 Napa Valley Merlot
“Rich yet sleek. Red currant, bell pepper and mocha aromas lead to complex, well-
balanced loam, blueberry and cedar flavors that linger toward compact, ripe tannins.” 91
Note: This review also appeared on the Wine Spectator Web site on November 3

Cape Gazette
November 17, 2008
John McDonald
“Wine recommendations are Fresh From the Mailbag”
“My properly cellared, well-aged readers will remember I loved the old-style
Chardonnay. Chappellet has brought one to the market. The 2006 Chappellet Vineyard
Napa Valley Chardonnay is ripe rich, creamy and pale golden-colored. Plenty of acid and
loads of fruit support the ripeness. The very long finish has integrated flavors, including
ripe pear, apple and creamy, toasted oak over a long, persistent finish.”

Wine Spectator
November 17, 2008
James Laube

“Top 100 Wines of 2008”
“Each year, Wine Spectator editors survey the wines we've reviewed over the past 12
months and select the most exciting for our Top 100. In 2008, we reviewed more than
19,500 wines from around the world in blind tasting.”
# 24 - 2005 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
“Big, ripe and complex, but light on its feet. An elegant, spicy mix of rich currant, anise,
toasty oak, espresso and subtle herbal scents, all of which fold together nicely, ending
with a long, persistent finish. Classic: a great wine.” 96 Points.
Note: The review also appeared in the October 15 issue under the title, “Highly
Recommended: The issue’s most impressive wines.” The review also appeared on the
Wine Spectator Web site on July 2 under James Laube’s California Cabernet Tasting

Wine Spectator
November 15, 2008
Daniel Sogg
“Napa's Changing of the Guard”
“Napa Valley is in the throes of a generational transition. Many of the region's signature
Cabernet Sauvignon estates, wineries launched in the 1960s and 1970s in the wave of
development that shaped the modern industry, are grappling with succession plans, either
transferring ownership to the next generation or selling at elevated prices that seemed
unthinkable 10 years ago. A number of Napa's leading old-guard Cabernet producers
remain under family ownership and want to stay that way, such as Chappellet and…”

Wine Spectator
November 15, 2008
James Laube
“California Cabernet’s Win-Win Vintage: High quality marks a big 2005 harvest,
with Napa Valley leading the way”
“Consider 2005 as the best of both worlds for California Cabernet Sauvignon. It provided
a huge crop and also an abundance of great wines. So it's a win-win for Cabernet
drinkers. Many of the highest-rated '05s are names familiar to Cab lovers: Chappellet

In fact, 2005 ranks as the biggest crop of high quality wines since 1997. The crop load in
turn required greater vineyard management, thinning and leaf canopy management to rein
in the vines' desire to push an even bigger yield. ‘The '05 vintage is a poster child for the
saying that great wines are made in the vineyard,’ says Phillip Corallo-Titus, winemaker
at Chappellet.”
James Laube’s Top-Scoring California Cabernets:
Chappellet 2005 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
“An elegant, spicy mix of rich currant, blackberry, wild berry and toasty, cedary oak,
with an intense, persistent finish.” 96 Points.

San Francisco Chronicle
November 13, 2008
“The Chronicle’s Wine Selections”
2005 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
“Musky, meaty aromas with dusky plum skin, cassis and a hint of herbal potpourri. A bit

of iron and tamarind tang plus chocolate, with dark mineral on the long finish.” 2½
Stars: Good to Excellent

Charlotte Food & Wine Magazine (Charlotte, NC)
October—November 2008
Robert Calvert
2005 Mountain Cuvee
“Larry Hanzo, Wine Manager at Total Wine-Park Road, reports that just as there is
comfort food, there is comfort wine—smooth, complex, interesting wine that simply
tastes wonderful. The Chappellet Mountain Cuvee absolutely fits that description. ‘The
wine features vivid fruits and rich soft tannins,’ Larry says. ‘This red blend beautifully
expresses the distinctive qualities of the traditional Bordeaux varietals. The aromas and
flavors entice with dark berries, ripe plums, and spicy oak. All of this yields a smooth and
lingering finish.’”

Houston Lifestyles and Homes (Houston, TX)
October 2008
Denman Moody
“Great Red Wine Values for Fall and Winter”
2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“A winery, that for me, has improved with the advent of the second generation (Carissa,
Cyril, and Jon-Mark Chappellet). Intense, ripe fruit from Chappellet’s renowned
Pritchard Hill Vineyard.”

September 2008
Gerald Asher
“Recommended Wines”
2005 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Franc
“Wines made from California Cabernet Franc are different from those produced in the
Loire. They have the same hint of violets and the same grace, but they are usually bigger,
more concentrated, and more powerful… Chappellet’s 2005 Pritchard Hill Estate
Vineyard Cabernet Franc has more Cabernet Sauvignon in its blend, giving it a firmer
structure. But it also has the soft tannins of Merlot, so the result is concentrated and
powerful.” (
September 5, 2008
Edward Deitch
“20 great wines I drank this summer”
2006 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“I thought it would be useful to offer something different for a change, to mention, in
brief, 20 wines that stood out over the last few months. As you'll see, the list is diverse in
terms of variety, region and price, but all the wines were impressive in their own ways
and deserve to be on this ‘highly recommended’ list. To start things off, I sampled a fair
number of wines from California and did so, as always, with an eye toward wines that
have good balance and interest and are not over-the-top in terms of alcohol or oak.
Classic and refreshing.”

USA Today
August 14, 2008
Jerry Shriver
“The Wine List”
 “Every so often I like to recalibrate what I call my pleasure index. I examine my recent
drinking habits and ask myself which types of wine truly knock my socks off and are
worthy of occasional high-end purchases, and which are best enjoyed only at a lower
price. To begin this process, I conducted a simple tasting of domestic (mostly California)
Chardonnays… Here are the wines that caught my attention:”
2006 Napa Valley Chardonnay

Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wines
August 2008 – Volume 32 Issue 10
Charles Olken
2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Young, deep direct and promising, this cassis-scented bottling offers aromas that are still
in the nascent phase of development. Not surprisingly, the wine is tight and tannin on the
palate, but it is also well-focused and awaits some patient cellaring to open up and reveal
its full, layered personality.” 90 Points

Colorado Wine News (Denver, CO)
July—September 2008
Harold J. Baer, Jr
2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“The 2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon has an unusual nose of salty maple bacon
and chocolate fudge before flavors of raspberry, maple bacon, and chocolate syrup laced
with fine tannin and nice acidity. Everything carries through the medium-broad, medium-
long finish. Unusual. Well balanced, structured, and integrated.”
2005 Napa Valley Merlot
“The 2005 Napa Valley Merlot has aromas of bloody beef, black raspberry, and smoky
oak before flavors of black raspberry, some beef blood, cocoa powder, and smoky oak
laced with moderate tannin. It finishes medium-broad and medium-long. Well balanced,
structured, and integrated. Tasty.”

July 2008
Hugh Johnson
“New World Greats to Lay Down”
“Decanter asked eight experts to each recommend five ageworthy types to lay down next
to all the Bordeaux. Here’s what they came up with:”
Hugh Johnson’s recommendation:
“Chappellet and… are the Californian wines I buy most often.”
2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Hard to find, but Donn Chappellet admires Latour and has got remarkably close at times
in his vineyard high on Pritchard Hill in St. Helena.”

Wine Review Online
July 22, 2008
Robert Whitley

2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“I confess I've always had a fondness for the Cabernet Sauvignon from Chappellet…
This is a more subdued, earthy Napa Cabernet than most, reminding me of my earliest
experiences tasting Bordeaux of the Graves district. These wines are of a kind, sleek and
together and never fully expressing their underlying complexity and depth until the years
— 10, 12, 15 — have passed. You can be patient with this superb 2005 Chappellet
Signature Cabernet, which expresses itself with a rich cassis and blackberry nose,
something that just cries out Cabernet. It's full-bodied and slightly sweet, with well-
measured wood notes and a hint of spice. If you should open this wine in its youth, do
yourself a favor and serve it with a thick, juicy steak.” 90 Points.

Wine Review Online
July 9, 2008
Robert Whitley
2006 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“Like so many Napa Valley Chardonnays, this vintage of Chappellet has immediate
appeal. It is rich and mouth-filling, with an oily texture that is supported by bold, ripe
fruit flavors of pear and baked apple, lifted by bright acidity that gives the wine life and
definition. The nose is attractive, expressing aromas of brioche and a bit of
caramel/butterscotch nuance that makes me think they must have used really good oak.
This one’s a real crowd-pleaser that should satisfy those who prefer some fat in their
Chardonnay and those who crave mouth-watering acidity. It has a bit of both.” 90 Points.

Chicago Tribune
June 25, 2008
Bill Daley
“California Classics”
2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“From Napa Valley, this cab has a smoky, tobacco aroma and lots of peppery berry
flavor. Velvety texture. Serve with grilled chicken, duck breast with a tart cherry sauce,
or bison burgers.” 3 Corkscrews: Very Good.

Wine Spectator
June 15, 2008
James Laube
2006 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“A rich, creamy, yet elegant wine, with a seamless mix of ripe pear, apple and creamy,
toasty oak flavors that provide a nice balance between fruit and oak. Has a long,
persistent finish.” 92 Points.

San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, CA)
June 13, 2008
“The Chronicle Wine Panel Selections”
2005 Mountain Cuvee
“Winemaker Phillip Corallo-Titus blends Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and a little Petit
Verdot. Slight floral and cinnamon hints boost juicy plum, cherry and pencil lead aromas.
More layering on palate with bright acidity and grippy tannins nicely wrapped up in
vanilla mocha.” 2 Stars: Good.

San Antonio Express-News (San Antonio, TX)
June 11, 2008
Bonnie Walker
“Nice reds for that Father’s Day steak”
“We asked local wine sellers for some recommendations for out-of-the-ordinary wines.”
2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“This is a ‘very big, classic Napa cab,’ says wine seller Will Lynch. Not one of your
overpriced Napa cabs, the wine shows ‘an interesting chocolate-mocha flavor and pairs
great with food.’ The winemaker keeps this wine at the $50 price point, but by its quality
it would probably still sell at $75 or more. ‘It’s one of our best-selling wines,’ he says.”

Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
May/June 2008
Stephen Tanzer
2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Bright ruby-red. Black raspberry, plum, mocha, musky espresso, leather and game on
the nose. Big, chewy and rich, with sweet, pliant, moderately intense flavors of dark
berries, plum jam, cherry, mocha and oak, plus a light element of game. Finishes with
dusty, oak-driven tannins, an herbal nuance and good length.” 88 Points.

Wine Spectator
May 31, 2008
James Laube
2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Tightly wound, well-focused, intense and concentrated, with a dusty berry and spicy,
leathery edge that sits on the palate and ends up dominating the flavor and texture.”
88 Points.

Wine Review Online
May 20, 2008
Paul Lukacs
2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Firmly structured, with noticeable (but not painfully astringent) tannins, this wine seems
classically styled, meaning restrained rather than super rich, and harmonious rather than
heavy. It is very nicely balanced, and deliciously long on the palate.” 90 Points.

Wine Review Online
May 13, 2008
Michael Apstein
2005 Napa Valley Merlot
“This saturated, powerful Merlot focuses on black — rather than the red — fruit flavors.
Smoky, toasty and gamey notes emerge from the dense fruit and add a needed exotic
element. Despite almost 15% alcohol, it is balanced and not over the top.” 90 Points.
2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Similar to Chappellet's 2005 Merlot, their Cabernet is a classy young wine. A gentle
toastiness — from oak aging — compliments rather than overwhelms the ripe black fruit-
like flavors. Polished, fine tannins lend needed structure without assaulting the palate.”
92 Points.

Wine & Spirits Magazine
April 2008
“19th Annual Restaurant Poll”
“For our annual Restaurant Poll, we survey America’s favorite restaurants, a list
compiled from more than 40 Zagat Survey restaurant guides nationwide. We don’t focus
on the restaurants most acclaimed for their wine lists or their food, though many of these
are included. Instead, we hold to the restaurants chosen by Zagat Survey’s thousands of
restaurant reviewers as the ones they enjoy the most.”
Most Popular Cabernet Sauvignons: #29 - Chappellet Vineyard & Winery.

Wine Review Online
April 30, 2008
Paul Lukacs and Marguerite Thomas
2006 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“Wine with Salpicón”
“Rich and ripe, with bright peach, mango and even pineapple fruit flavors, all enhanced
by just the right touch of creamy vanilla from oak aging, this Chardonnay worked well
because it tasted so generous and so well-balanced. Many Chards made in this opulent
style can seem excessive. Not this one.”

New Jersey Star-Ledger
April 30, 2008
T.J. Foderaro
Q: “I used to enjoy a white wine called Chappellet Chenin Blanc, but I haven't seen it for
quite a few years. Do they still make it?”

A: “No and yes.

No, they're not making any right now. That's because a few years ago, the Chappellet
winery decided to replant their Chenin Blanc vineyard mostly with cabernet sauvignon, a
prestigious red grape variety that commands much higher prices than Chenin Blanc.

Fortunately for us -- I'm a long-time fan of Chappellet chenin myself -- the winery also
planted some new Chenin Blanc vines, which should start bearing wine-quality fruit for
the 2009 vintage, according to Cyril Chappellet, who heads sales and marketing and is
the son of founder Donn Chappellet.

So, have patience. And while you're waiting for the next generation chenin blanc, you
might want to try some of Chappellet's other wines. I've been tasting them for years, and
they've never been better.

The 2006 Chappellet Napa Valley Chardonnay is about as rich and sophisticated as
chardonnay gets. It's a full-bodied white that hasn't been distorted by too much oak aging,
a common weakness of California chardonnays. It's not cheap - - about $25 -- but it's the
real thing.

Chappellet's real strength, however, is red wine -- specifically, Bordeaux-like blends of
merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and a few other varieties.

A fine example is the 2005 Mountain Cuvee, a finely wrought red defined by heady fruit
aromas, layers of flavor and a polished texture that can match up with just about any food
you like. At $25, it's among the very best cabernet-based wines from California I've tried
for under $40.
Chappellet has long been recognized as a pioneer of Napa Valley cabernet, but the
winery continues to improve quality by focusing almost exclusively on Bordeaux grape
varieties -- chardonnay and Chenin Blanc being the two exceptions – and by replanting
its renowned Pritchard Hill estate one section at a time.

This has given winemaker Phillip Corallo-Titus the raw ingredients he needs to turn out
consistently excellent reds, from a $30 Merlot that's as good as any in its price range to a
$125 Reserve Cabernet that's as good as it gets -- and a lot cheaper, believe it or not, than
many other Reserve Cabernets these days.”

The Capital Times
April 21, 2008
Michael Muckian
2005 Mountain Cuvee
“Time for a toast for the Spirited Glass”
“Editor's note: This is the final installment of Michael Muckian's Spirited Glass column
to appear in The Capital Times. A new iteration will bubble up May 1 under the same
byline in the first edition of 77 Square, the new TCT arts and entertainment publication.

The Spirited Glass began its journey one Saturday in August 2005...The column
concluded the first leg of its journey last week with a chat and glass of red estate-grown
wine with Cyril Chappellet, a second-generation family member and co-owner of
Chappellet Winery in California's Napa Valley.

After 136 weeks, and a few lost weekends, what have we learned? First...And secondly,
that 40-year-old Chappellet, with its lovely hillside vineyards, was a winery we wished
we'd discovered years earlier. Its Mountain Cuvee is one the best entry-level wines
we've ever tasted.”

The Capital Times (Madison, WI)
April 12, 2008
Michael Muckian
“Winemaker Thrives on Hillside Vineyard”
“Cyril Chappellet understands the difference between a very good wine and a great wine,
and the true definition is not at all affected by media hype.

‘A very good wine is extremely well balanced, with excellent fruit and the capability to
age gracefully and get better as it gets older,’ said Chappellet, part of the second
generation ownership of the Napa Valley winery that bears his name. All those elements,
along with an exceptional capacity when paired with food, are elements that can set a
wine apart from the competition.

‘But the best of the best? That's a matter of nuance,’ said Chappellet, one of the winery's
three operational directors. ‘A wine that smells yummy, then follows through with those
characteristics enhanced on the palate, is a wine that really rocks.’

Chappellet Winery has been making French Bordeaux varietals and blends for the past 40
years, ever since Cyril's father Donn sold his interest in Interstate United Vending, a
public company he co-founded with a partner, left Southern California in the mid-1960s
with his wife Molly and five of their eventual six offspring and moved to Napa.

The Chappellets bought land on the side of Pritchard Hill just east of Rutherford and now
own 700 acres, 100 acres of which are planted with Bordeaux grapes, with an additional
100 acres of grapes planted on a neighboring property. The estate acreage encompasses a
plot that has held vineyards as far back as the 1850s, according to survey records.

‘My dad was convinced that you could make higher quality wine from hillside vineyards,
with natural stressing of the vines coming through thinner soils and less water,’ said
Chappellet. ‘This was in 1967, before anyone was really doing that.’

The soil on Pritchard Hill contains an unusually high share of porous volcanic rock,
thought to have come from eruptions of what formerly had been a 14,000-foot-high
volcano in the Stag's Leap region of Napa Valley. The amount of rock differs based on
whether the soil content is composed of volcanic rubble or magma flows from the
volcano's slopes.

 In both cases, soil conditions provide interesting ‘opportunities’ for Chappellet's vines,
resulting in deeper roots, hardier fruit and richer, fuller-bodied wines.

‘Water will always be an issue for us,’ Chappellet said. ‘Our challenge is that we keep as
much soil as possible from washing off our property.’ The vintners also practice
sustainable farming methods, resulting in a wine estate of which 53 percent is certified
organic. Chappellet doesn't practice the more unusual methods of biodynamic farming --
fertilizer is not stuffed in hollowed-out cow horns and buried by the light of the moon, for

Much of the organic emphasis, in fact, falls more along the lines of a stewardship role
designed to maintain the integrity of the land and its viability for future generations of
Chappellets who will someday take over operations of the winery.

‘It's a ton more handwork, but I think the wines are better for it,’ he added.

The resulting wines support Chappellet's assertion, and the vineyard's output routinely
earns top marks in various prestigious wine publications. Public awareness has helped
drive up a wine's price and appeal, Chappellet said, and good critical notice can
sometimes create a cult following of wines from vineyards with smaller yields and
unique approaches.

‘For the most part, the value of wine is completely subjective,’ Chappellet said. ‘Its value
is largely determined by what you happen to like to the point where you will pay almost
any amount to get it.’

With a 25,000- to 30,000-case annual yield, Chappellet may be too big to be considered a
boutique property, but it's far smaller than nearby Robert Mondavi Winery, which

produces upwards of 9 million cases every year, Chappellet said.

However, the winery has found success in the middle ground, still adhering to Donn
Chappellet's original yield model to produce its award-winning wines. And the quality
shows in the wines currently on the market.
Chappellet wines, a showcase for the influences of their rocky, volcanic terroir, are
largely rich, complex reds that echo and magnify the influence of their French forbearers.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah dominate, with a complex Chardonnay made
entirely from fruit grown in California's Carneros region rounding out the portfolio.

The winery also produces a Cabernet Franc, a varietal not often seen outside of a blend
and the progenitor of the more familiar, meatier Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet Franc
has more perfume and brighter fruit that, in Chappellet's winemakers' hands, yield a wine
redolent of dark fruits, spice and chocolate, with a sense of earth and forest on the back of
the palate.

Chappellet's Signature Series Cabernet Sauvignon arrives with similar sensation, flavors
of cherry and plum balanced by a light toasted oak. The finish, long and smooth, ends
with a subtle refinement born of well-rounded tannins.

Chappellet's top wine, the Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, hits squarely amid the
‘nuances’ category that characterizes great wine. Harmony among fruit and tannins, as
well as body and spirit, is this wine's unifying characteristic, and an intense combination
of flavors from black cherry to roasted coffee, with dashes of anise, vanilla and nutmeg in
between, brings a vibrancy to the wine that cause the flavors to dance on the palate.

‘We really do make some great wines,’ said Chappellet.

It's a boast you'd expect from a vintner. In this case, however, it's true.”

Wine Review Online
April 8, 2008
Michael Franz
2005 Napa Valley Merlot
“Approachably soft without lacking for grip or structure, this is an intelligently-styled
Merlot that will serve many purposes. Fruit notes of dark cherries and black plums are
quite appealing, with very little overt oak and just a bit of accenting from scents of dried
herbs. Soft enough to sip as a cocktail but sufficiently substantial to hold its own with
moderately robust foods, this is tasty and versatile.” 88 Points.
2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“A seriously impressive Cabernet from Napa that is thankfully still priced below the $50
line, this features intense, concentrated fruit recalling blackberries and cassis. Oak notes
are prominent, with toasty aromatic notes and a bit of added firmness in the finish from
wood tannins, but the balance between oak and fruit is still just right, as the wine can be
enjoyed now but will still develop in positive ways for another five years.” 90 Points.

Creative Loafing (Charlotte, NC)
March 18, 2008
Taylor Eason

2006 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“Recommended Wine”
“Fills the mouth with fresh, sugar-strewn peaches and cream. Definitely rich, but not
overwhelming, with firm acidity that can stand up to food, no problem.” 4 out of 5 Stars.

Wine Spectator Insider
March 12, 2008
James Laube
2006 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“Rich and smoky, with complex, detailed, bold flavors built around layers of ripe fig,
apple, melon and floral scents, keeping a tight focus and then turning elegant and supple
on the finish, with wonderful detail.” 92 Points.

January 2008
David Wainwright
2004 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Ripe redcurrant jam and vanilla oak nose. Fresh, modern style. Vanilla and cassis jam.
Nicely balanced. Warm, spicy finish.” 3 stars: Recommended.

January 2008
“Decanter Award Winners”
2004 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
“Spicy with dense blackcurrant fruit. Sweet and ripe. Densely fruity, packed with flavor.
Complex and interesting, not just another oak and fruit bomb. Long finish. Spicy tobacco,
grainy tannins. Excellent.” 5 Stars: Outstanding.

Wine Spectator
January 15, 2008
“Top 100 Wines of 2007”
“Wine Spectator editors reviewed more than 15,000 newly released wines in 2007. From
this pool, we chose the Top 100. These are the year’s most noteworthy wines, based on
four criteria: high score, large production, value pricing and an X-factor we like to call
excitement. We recommend these wines as outstanding representatives of their types.”
2004 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“The rocky soils of Pritchard Hill above Napa Valley produce some of the region’s most
collectible wines, and Chappellet, founded in 1967, is one of the area’s established
producers. The warm, consistent growing season combined with strict control of the crop
allowed winemaker Phillip Corallo-Titus to produce this graceful yet complex wine.”
#27 - 93 Points.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat
January 2, 2008
“Wine of the Week”
2005 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“Rich, ripe, showy. Full-bodied and balanced. A big style of chardonnay, with tropical
notes of banana and fig. Medium complexity. Vibrant.” 4 Stars: Highly Recommended.

Food & Wine Magazine’s Wine Guide 2008
Jamal A. Rayyis
2004 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“Donn Chappellet is responsible for another excellent wine, full of red berry, toasted
oak and tobacco flavors. Top-notch of its type.” 3 Stars: Excellent.
2005 Napa Valley Chardonnay
“Round and crisp, with pineapple, lemon and light oak. Top-notch of its type ” 3 Stars:

Wine Advocate
December 28, 2007—Issue 174
Robert Parker
2004 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
“More floral, black currant, blackberry, graphite, and charcoal scents jump from the glass
of the 2004 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon. Silky-textured with nicely integrated wood,
plenty of créme de cassis, licorice, and spring flower characteristics, this full-bodied,
opulent Cabernet is broader and denser than the Merlot, but seamlessly constructed. This
beauty should drink handsomely for 15 or more years.” 93 Points.
2004 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
“The full-bodied 2004 Pritchard Hill Estate Proprietary Red boasts a sensational
inky/ruby/purple color to the rim as well as broad, rich, crème de cassis, licorice,
graphite, and spice-like flavors, and a tannic finish. While approachable, it will benefit
from several years of bottle age, and should age gracefully for two decades.” 94 Points.
2004 Napa Valley Merlot
“In spite of the misplaced unpopularity of Merlot among American wine consumers,
Chappellet’s 2004 Merlot is an outstanding example of this varietal. Beautiful flowery,
plum, blueberry, and black cherry flavors cascade over the palate with not a hard edge to
be found. Medium to full-bodied, with complex aromatics, sweet tannin, and a long
finish, this opulent, Pomerol-like red should be consumed over the next 10-12 years.”
91 Points.

December 5, 2007
Peter Gianotti
2004 Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
“Big, intense cabernet, rounded out with some Petit Verdot and merlot, this California
wine has a Bordeaux quality. Heady with black fruit, with notes of cedar, and mellow
tannins. It will age for years.”

Wine Spectator
November 30, 2007
James Laube
“Recommended California Merlots”
2004 Napa Valley Merlot
“Bold, rich and concentrated, with ripe, focused currant, blackberry, cedar and spice
aromas that fill out on the palate.” 90 Points.


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