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(96 - 100)
2016 - 2066
Robert M. Parker, Jr.
The 2015 Cappella should be close to perfection when it is finally released in several years. Inky bluish/purple to the rim, with blackberry, chocolate, graphite, barbecue smoke and forest floor notes, this incredibly rich, pure, structured and powerful wine is multi-dimensional, with huge levels of fruit and glycerin. To say it is a tour de force is almost an understatement. It should have 30-50 years of longevity.
Is anyone anywhere in the world making more consistently profound wines than the famous viticulturalist David Abreu and his long-time sidekick and assistant, former chef Brad Grimes? Working from relatively small sites, two of them adjacent to the back streets of St. Helena (the six-acre Cappella Vineyard alongside a cemetery and the home estate of Madrona Ranch at the base of Spring Mountain) to the co-owned vineyard with Ric Forman, the magnificent Thorevilos Vineyard behind the Meadowood Resort. There is also his own 2,000-foot elevation site on Howell Mountain. These wines are all proprietary reds, probably containing at least 60-65% Cabernet Sauvignon, the rest largely Cabernet Franc with a little Petit Verdot and occasionally tiny amounts of Merlot. They spend a full two years in 100% new French oak and are bottled without any fining or filtration. They are exquisite examples of Bordeaux blends that are true first growths in every sense. So how do I go about describing these wines, which are so exciting and satisfying on both hedonistic and intellectual levels?