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2022 Chappellet Chenin Blanc, Napa Valley

Chappellet Winery is a wine producer based in 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 incline, high elevation, and east-facing slopes. The estate vineyards on Pritchard Hill have an altitude that ranges between 800-1800ft (245-550m) 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 by allocation. 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.

This sophisticated Chenin Blanc is a favorite of founder Molly Chappellet and opens with a light straw color. The aromas are pleasant, subtle, and enticing displaying white spring flowers, honeysuckle, notes of green apple, orange peel and a hint of minerality. The flavor has a sense of purity and focus revealing bright, crisp tropical fruit and lively acidity that is wonderfully integrated into the wine. It keeps the wine fresh, leading to a finish that is dry and elegant. This is a lovely wine that is worth seeking out to enjoy on its own or at a late lunch with mild cheeses or shellfish.

By Perry Miroballi

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