90 points Wine Spectator: "Supple yet complex, with red currant, cedar and spicy-mocha aromas and rich black cherry and bell pepper flavors that linger with soft tannins. Drink now through 2013. " (Web only, 2009) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Lovely, with the structure and mouth-filling satisfaction of a fine Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, but lighter and more pliant. Shows flavors of cherries, red currants, licorice, beef teriaki and sandalwood, wrapped into firm but finely etched tannins. Now–2012." (09/09) 90 points Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine: "his very solid Merlot has an extra edge of structure probably owing as much to its hillside site as to its small addition of other varieties, and while its flavors are all Merlot red cherry, it does get a bit tough in the late going. Time is on its side, however, and with the proven track record of Chappellet reds, no one should have any reluctance to let it rest for three to five years in the cellar." (09/09) Chappellet's Merlot comes from the winery's Pritchard Hill vineyard and is aged for 19 months in a combination of French and American oak barrels. Small amounts of Cab and Malbec add to the wine's structure and give it breadth across the palate. Concentrated with silky tannins, the Chappellet Merlot entices with raspberry, cherry and peppery aromas. Dark fruit layers with brown sugar, smoke, pepper and licorice flavors that linger on the decadent palate.
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