From “ABC” to Chappellet Chardonnay

| August 14, 2012 | 0 Comments

By Cortney Roudebush – sipswirlsavor.com

About two years ago, the Chappellet Chardonnay was the wine that converted me to a Chardonnay drinker (albeit a particular one). Until then, I had been adamant about proclaiming my drinking habits as “ABC” (anything but Chardonnay).

When I started working at Chappellet Vineyards in 2010, I quickly became a fan of every single wine we poured (including the Napa Valley Chardonnay). This wine has quite a following; over the course of my employment there, many customers told me that they had been enjoying the Chappellet Chardonnay for thirty years. Indeed, the first vintage was 1979, ten years after the Chappellet Family produced their first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon.

And I imagine that thirty years from now, I will probably still be drinking this particular Chardonnay (and the rest of the Chappellet wines).

Chappellet’s wines are incredibly consistent. The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon always gets 90+ point scores and the Mountain Cuvée Bordeaux-style red blend is always delicious. The wines are so good every vintage because they have been made by the same winemaker, Philip Titus (for almost 25 years), and because the grapes are sourced from the same vineyards year after year.

So what makes the Chappellet Chardonnay so special?

The fruit is grown in the cool southern part of Napa Valley, specifically the Coombsville area. The wine is made in the Burgundian style, meaning that most of the French barrels used are 3-5 years old. The resulting wine exudes tropical fruit and just a kiss of oak.

The 2010 Chappellet Napa Valley Chardonnay smells like toasted coconut, nutmeg, honey and orange blossom. The palate is at first reminiscent of burnt crème brûlée. Flavors of sweet oak, vanilla, and baking spice roll over the tongue with a creamy texture and good acidity. As the wine warms up, the oaky quality dissipates and flavors of caramelized pineapple and hazelnut prevail.

It’s a wonderful wine to savor on it’s own while lounging on the deck after a long day. It would also pair perfectly with risotto, pasta carbonara, and roast chicken with mashed potatoes.

This bottle was received from the winery for review purposes, but it’s available for purchase from the website (or at Kermit Lynch for $28.99). You can read about their other fantastic vineyard tour here and make an appointment and/or purchase on their website.

Category: Wine Zombie Articles

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