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2021 Chappellet Napa Valley Merlot

Chappellet Winery is based in the Napa Valley. Donn and Molly Chappellet started the winery in 1967 by purchasing land on Pritchard Hill at the advice of legendary California winemaker André Tchelistcheff. Pritchard Hill, just west of Rutherford, was an appealing site for a vineyard due to its steep aspect, high elevation, and east-facing slopes. Chappellet remains a family-owned winery. The estate vineyards on Pritchard Hill have an altitude that ranges between 800-1800 ft above sea level. Chappellet's specialty is red Bordeaux varieties, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, which accounts for 25 of the vineyard's 34 individual plots. Its flagship wine is the critically acclaimed Pritchard Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, which is sold mostly to members of its wine club. Chappellet's other labels have varied in production based on vintage, but have included wines made from Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Sirah, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, and Chenin Blanc.

The 2021 Chappellet Napa Valley Merlot is the current release of this varietal from this estate. In some vintages, the Merlot is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, a touch of Malbec and Petit Verdot. This lovely wine draws you in and captivates all your wine senses. The color is a beautiful ruby with light glistening edges. Within are aromas of dark berries, grilled meat, briary spice, toasted oak and a touch of cassis. The palate is medium bodied with a creamy silky texture and soft rounded tannins that glide effortlessly to a warm balanced finish There is the perfect amount of acidity that gives the wine lift through the end. With each varietal Chappellet produces, Phillip Corallo-Titus, Vice President of Winemaking continues with producing some of the finest wines in Napa Valley. The Napa Valley Merlot is another stunning wine from this estate.

By Perry Miroballi

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