Incredible 2007 Napa Cab — Potential Wine Spectator Wine of the Year 2010?

Incredible 2007 Napa Cab — Potential Wine Spectator Wine of the Year 2010?

Posted on Dec, 17. 2009 by

Categories: Wine

Coming off the recent announcement of the 2005 Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve being named Wine Spectator’s 2009 Wine of the Year (a wine that our Guild members bought 20-odd cases of at our always-attractive Guild prices), I am hesitant to put our reputation at risk so quickly. And yet, last week I tasted a wine that was so powerful, so balanced, so ageable and yet so well-priced that I simply can’t NOT make sure that every Guild member has a shot at some. This is a wine so good that, in its 2006 vintage, Wine Spectator gave it 94 points and ranked it the #6 Wine of the Year for 2009. I personally went through 5 bottles of the 2005 (among the first purchases I ever made from the Guild) — too bad I missed the 2006, as by the time I found it the review was published and it was sold out.

The just-released 2007 Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon Signature from Napa Valley has rapidly become known (on the Parker boards and elsewhere) as one of the top QPR Napa Cabs year-in-year-out. People simply rave about the quality this wine delivers, and at a sub-$50 retail price point the wine pretty consistently scores in the low to mid-90s with the major reviewers. What got me even more excited, however, is the 2007 vintage — Parker has rated the 2007 California Cabernet vintage 96 points, tying it with 2001 for the top vintages of the past 30+ years. So when you combine a consistently outstanding QPR with an incredible vintage, you’d expect to see fireworks. And when I finally got ahold of a bottle recently (fresh off the truck from CA as the wine was just released), I was quite pleased with the results:

12/10/2009 rated 92 points: Note written on day 2. Deep ruby color. Ripe black cherries, pine sap and tobacco notes on the nose. Big fruit on the palate, with primary flavors of sweet cherries and milk chocolate, turning oakier and darker on the finish. Big and rich, this has excellent ripeness and concentration, yet it’s not clumsy or unbalanced. Drinking great now, this has 5-10+ years of improvement ahead. A real winner and as solid a QPR as you’ll see in Napa Cab these days.

I enjoyed this wine as much as any current release Napa cab I’ve had in a long time, despite that fact that it just came off the truck and was at risk of bottle shock. I think, given some time to settle down and some age for the flavors to come together, this is a 94-96 point scoring wine. In particular, it was interesting to compare this with the Joseph Phelps cab that we tasted at the blind Guild tasting with National a week ago — I think we all were damn impressed by the Phelps (it’s relative class was obvious), but without question, I think the Chappellet is superior in pretty much every way. And at a 40% lower price point? This is an alley-oop slam dunk…

Now here’s the bad news — this wine is already highly allocated, despite the fact that it has not yet been reviewed by any major publication. To get just a reasonable quantity, we had to take all the distributor had in stock in advance, which is not exactly our business model. That said, we think this wine is so incredible, and such an amazing deal, that it would be worth it to secure as much as we possibly could — and yet we could only get less than 10 cases. Here are the details of the offer:

2007 Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon Signature, Napa Valley, California
Retail price before [member discount|Our members save an average of 25% off the normal retail prices. As a courtesy to the retail wine industry we do not publish our prices.] $45.00 • Inquire about this wine!

If you want some of this wine (and believe me, you do), then you must act quickly as we will be allocating the wine to the best of our ability. We recognize that this is a somewhat higher price point than a lot of the wine we sell here at the Guild, but while our other recent Holiday offers have been great as gifts or for guests, THIS is the wine to give to yourself, to put multiple bottles in your cellar and truly savor with your spouse or other wine friends for years to come.

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