- Producer: Chappellet Winery - read about the Estate
- Winemaker: Phillip Corallo-Titus
- Region (AVA): Napa Valley (Los Carneros)
- Blend: 100% Chardonnay
- Vintage production: 675 cases
- Winery location: Pritchard Hill
- Owners: The Chappellet Family
- First vintage: 2017
- Drinking window: 2019-2029
About The Wine:
Planted by the legendary Sangiacomo family, El Novillero is situated on a windswept section of rocky Carneros benchland. There, well-drained rock and gravel soils create naturally small crops of beautifully concentrated Chardonnay. Chappellet's block of El Novillero features Robert Young Clone Chardonnay planted in 1993. These older vines yield a dazzling wine that combines hedonistic depth, with elegance and finesse. In the winery, the wine underwent 100% malolactic fermentation and was aged in 42% new French oak barrels.
The 2017 growing season began with abundant winter and spring rains, which replenished the vineyard, and allowed the vines to sustain themselves with very little irrigation throughout much of the season. The well-drained mountain soils, and ideal weather during bloom resulted in a beautifully balanced crop and canopy. Even so, the team applied careful canopy management techniques to achieve just the right amount of filtered sunlight on the fruit. This combination of dappled light and shade to prevent sunburn helped to preserve the exceptional quality of the grapes during a significant August heat event, ultimately yielding grapes with lovely colors and aromatics, accompanied by beautifully concentrated flavors.
Chappellet Winery Grower Collection El Novillero Chardonnay 2017
"The 2017 Chardonnay Grower Collection El Novillero has a lovely nose of white apricot and peach with apple pie, honey toast, toasted hazelnut, wet stone and creamy lemon. Medium-bodied, it packs a punch of flavor in the mouth with great layers of ripe fruits, savory/toasty notes and creamy citrus plus suggestions of white blossoms, with refreshing acidity to lift the long, long flavorful finish. This is all class."
94+ points, Erin Brooks (The Wine Advocate, April 2019)
"Also from Carneros, the 2017 Chardonnay Chappellet Grower Collection El Novillero saw a slightly longer elevage of 10 months in barrel followed by four months in tank. Rocking notes of white currants, crushed citrus, brioche, and honeyed lemons all flow to a medium to full-bodied chardonnay that has a fresh, focused, crystalline texture that carries beautiful depth of fruit. It's another high-quality wine from this team that has loads to love."
93 points, Jeb Dunnuck (June 2019)