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1997 Chappellet "Signature" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #301388 90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Napa Cabs are often described as being 'curranty.' If you sniff and taste this you will know what curranty is. Hints of dill, cream, and vanilla support the cassis core. Quite positive and engaging. Structured and weighty, so it will probably show better in a few years.  (11/2000)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Complex and concentrated, showing a wide array of flavors--mint, chocolate, currant, cassis, black cherry--before turning woody, with firm tannins.  (9/2000)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This is an impressive Cabernet Sauvignon. The color is a dense ruby purple. The bouquet offers up tight but promising aromas of minerals, smoke, and black currants. A Bordeaux-like austerity greets the taster, but as with Bordeaux, there is plenty of density and concentration in reserve, which is particularly noticeable on the back of the palate. The wine is pure, promising, tannic, medium to full-bodied, and nicely extracted. Chewy tobacco, spice box, and black fruit characteristics emerge with airing. It is good to see this winery turn out a wine of this quality. It's an ager however, and patience will be required. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2018.  (6/2000)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep bright ruby. Cassis, licorice, menthol and cocoa powder on the nose, along with strong oak tones. Dense, lush and consistent in the mouth, with ripe acidity giving clarity to the flavors. Finishes with toothcoating, dusty tannins and notes of cherry and leather. Good stuff.  (6/2000)

K&L Notes

We've carried this wine for many years, and the '97 ranks up there with their best efforts. Dark berry and cherry fruit with hints of chocolate. One of Napa's most consistent performers comes through with a delicious release that's garnered some well-deserved positive press and point scores.

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Price: $59.99
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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.