I splurge on high-end Napa Cabernet now and again because I love those rich, intensely flavored wines, but they aren’t always in the budget. On a recent Friday evening, Sonoma County was sunny for a change, so I decided to grill steaks outside. My wife brought home a bottle of the Chappellet Mountain Cuvee, and the evening became even brighter.
Chappellet winery always seems to over-deliver on quality for the price, thanks in large part to the estate’s 100 acres of vines on Pritchard Hill, high above Napa Valley. The 2007 is a blend of 51 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 46 percent Merlot, with a dash of Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The wine is rich and seamlessly mouthfilling yet complex and beautifully structured. It’s ready to drink in the short term—it brought out the best in the beef—but will do fine in the cellar for a few years. I rated it 92 points, non-blind. It sells for $29, a bargain by most Napa standards.
WineSpectator.com members: Get previous scores and tasting notes for other Chappellet bottlings.