Chappellet's chenin blanc--gone?

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Chappellet's chenin blanc--gone?

Postby Jenise » Wed Apr 26, 2006 4:58 pm

Napa Valley's Chappellet Winery produces one of the only notable chenin blancs outside of the Loire Valley. Have I heard correctly, that the vineyard has been ripped out? I guess I can understand that given Napa Valley's land cost vs. the limited amount of money you can ask for a low yielding chenin blanc in a country that doesn't get chenin blanc, but still--what a shame.
Last edited by Jenise on Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Chappellet's old vines dry chenin blanc

Postby James Dietz » Wed Apr 26, 2006 6:55 pm

I hope that isn't so... it's a nice wine at a good price...

Chenin Blanc.. the neglected white.. now abused..
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Re: Chappellet's old vines dry chenin blanc

Postby Paul B. » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:01 pm

Jenise, it happens again: an arguably excellent wine gets discontinued - its very history ripped up! - because it doesn't sell. It really says something about the audience when a quality product can't find any takers, doesn't it?

Sad!
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Re: Chappellet's old vines dry chenin blanc

Postby Bob Henrick » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:19 pm

Jenise, 15 - 20 years ago Chappellet made some (nearly) cult status colombard from100+ year old vines. IIRC, they did not own the vineyard, and the owner ripped the vines out to plant merlot, so nothing is surprising any more. I wonder if they owned the chenin vines either?
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Re: Chappellet's old vines dry chenin blanc

Postby Robin Garr » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:20 pm

Bob Henrick wrote:I wonder if they owned the chenin vines either?


I"m pretty sure they do, Bob. I've visited the vineyard, and it's on their mountaintop property. I share everyone else's sadness and surprise at this story ... I hope it proves to be just a rumor, but I'm not counting on it. :(
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Re: Chappellet's old vines dry chenin blanc

Postby Bob Henrick » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:23 pm

Thanks Robin, that makes it even more sad somehow. Is Don Chappellet stil alive and in charge?
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Re: Chappellet's old vines dry chenin blanc

Postby Jenise » Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:16 pm

Bob/Robin/Jim: I've just contacted the winery with our questions. Will let you know what they say--the website is silent about the status of the vineyards. But I noted that the most recent chenin listed is only 03. I also provided a link to this thread in case they'd like to address these questions themselves.
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Response from the winery

Postby Jenise » Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:41 pm

Jenise, thank you for your interest in and support of Chappellet and our wines!

The story about the Chenin Blanc is correct - we did remove the vines in early 2005 after 42 years of production on Pritchard Hill. Our current release is the 2003 Dry Chenin Blanc. We will have a 2004 vintage release of the Dry Chenin Blanc later this year.

Our most recent release of the Old Vine Cuvee was the 2002 vintage. We will release a 2003 and 2004 vintage of the OVC. These releases will be available exclusively from the winery with an initial offer to our Pritchard Hill Club members.

Donn and Molly Chappellet are very committed to producing a world-class Chenin Blanc from Pritchard Hill - it's a personal favorite of the Chappellet family! The great news is that we will be replanting a block on the Chappellet estate to Chenin Blanc - we can look forward to Chappellet bottling Chenin Blanc in the future.
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So, there is some good news!!

Postby James Dietz » Fri Apr 28, 2006 6:38 pm

But we will have to wait a few years.. good for them, though..
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Great chenin blanc !

Postby Bill Spencer » Fri Apr 28, 2006 7:03 pm

Jenise wrote:Napa Valley's Chappellet Winery produces one of the only notable chenin blancs outside of the Loire Valley.


%^)

When Kathleen and I are in Morro Bay, California each year on vacation, we eat 65 cent oysters every Tuesday night at Windows On The Water and this is ALWAYS the wine we drink to go with the oysters ! Can only remember a French muscadet that I thought went better with oysters than the Chappellet ... but it cost a hell of a lot more than the Chappellet ... sigh - does EVERYTHING have to eventually change ? I guess if you live long enough .................

Clink !

%^)
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